Skip to main content

About this Show

U.S. Senate

News/Business.

NETWORK

DURATION
03:30:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 91 (627 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Egypt 24, Indiana 23, Us 20, U.s. 20, Ohio 17, Virginia 15, Florida 15, America 13, West Virginia 12, United States 10, Morsi 7, Pennsylvania 7, Jeremy 5, Obama 4, Sharia 4, North Carolina 4, Minnesota 4, New York 4, Husted 3, Shadi 3,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    December 17, 2012
    8:30 - 12:00pm EST  

8:30am
it's ultra hi-definition. it's astonishing. the american people should not be denied that because we're somehow cannibalized out of, out of some sort of new public policy that says the world of tomorrow's only broadband and not broadcast. >> host: senator gordon smith joins us as we begin part of discussions on the future of television. he is the president and ceo of the national association of broadcasters. thank you, sir. >> guest: thank you. >> host: and ted gotsch of "telecommunications report," thank you b the for being on "the communicators." >> thanks for having me. >> just ahead, the first of two forums from a recent conference examining the 201 2 elections with jeremy byrd. then two secretaries of state discuss the impact of voter id laws. after that we're hive from the brookings institution on the future of egypt following it constitutional refer dumb, and later another live forum
8:31am
examining a proposal to raise medicare's eligibility age. >> also today a discussion with some of the leaders who have helped create what's known as e-government. this month marks the tenth anniversary of the act that was helped to allow federal agencies to deliver information for mishtly using the -- efficiently using the internet. you can see live coverage beginning at 9 a.m. eastern over on c-span3. >> now, a look at some of the problems that occurred on election day and the role technology could play in helping to correct them. you'll hear from obama campaign national field director jeremy byrd who blamed longer lines and election day confusion on what he called partisan laws aimed at making it harder for certain people to vote. this discussion was part of a daylong conference hosted by the pew center on the states. >> thanks.
8:32am
all right. i wanted to introduce the next panel. we came to this, um, after the elections after all the talk of some of the problems we saw on election day and, of course, the media picked up and drove a lot of the talk after election day. we wanted to get some experts up here, so with that i'll just introduce the moderator of the session. we're very lucky to have eliza newman carpny from cq roll call. >> thank all of you for coming here today. we have a very distinguished panel, and we're going to talk about the experience of voters on election day, jeremy bird is a veteran of barack obama's re-election campaign. he was national field director of obama for america in the recent elections. he was national deputy director of organizing for america, the group set up to build grassroots
8:33am
support for the president's policy initiatives. he's one of the architects of the president's data and digital driven organizing team model. eric marshall has been in the trenches of voter access fights at the state and national levels. he's manager of legal mobilization at the lawyers' committee and co-leader of the nation's largest voter support coalition. scott trainer in, he, too, has been in the trenches of monitoring the polls as an election day war room director in three statewide campaigns. he advised senator john mccain's presidential campaign in 2008 and in the most recent election advised the senatorial committee on recount operation. he's also been an adviser to mitt romney's campaign. so i'm going to ask each one of our panelists one question, and then we're going to have a more general discussion, and then we're going to open it up to
8:34am
questions from you. so, eric, why don't you tart, and talk about -- start, and talk about what went right and what went wrong from the respect of voters trying to cast their ballots. >> yeah. so you've asked this question that will probably make me unpopular in this room. what really went right is people voted at high numbers across the country, saw, you know, huge turnouts in states across the country. we saw a share of the electorate among african-american, latino voters and communities of color increase over past election which it's great to see the electorate be more diverse and look more like what america is. i thought that was great. we saw the resolve of american voters, kind of what went wrong and what went right. you had people who waited in line for seven hours. that was wrong, but the fact that people were so passionate that they waited so long, there were voters in florida that even though, you know, president obama's already, you know, striding onto stage in chicago to give his victory speech,
8:35am
didn't leave the line. that was a great thing, i think it should be celebrated. also we saw states that enacted certain reforms that didn't have as many problems on election day. new jersey, um, you know -- north carolina, you know, they have one-stop voting where during early voting you can register and vote tail. and we saw high numbers of people voting early. there were some shenanigans and issues during the early vote period, but on election day in north carolina you didn't see the sensational or widespread problems like other states. a state like nevada and other battleground states that has a good law, we didn't see as many problems many that state. minnesota, which has election day registration and a history of good processes managing elections, we didn't see the type of problems. so we saw in states that have taken steps to reform the system, we didn't see the level of problems in states that had similar vote interest. you know, in pennsylvania there was a lot of issues across the
8:36am
state with the state's photo id law. you know, some -- a lot of it was confusion, you know? there was a corps don junction close to election day, yes, that created confusion, but we don't feel the state educated voters and poll workers about the law. and we get a lot of calls from voters confused by the process. some voters were correctly asked for id or correctly required to show because they were first-time voters or moved. but the confusion about that, there's a lot of respondents on the state -- responsibilities on the state. the state had a campaign that was if you have it, show it, and it was very confusing, and there were mailings that went out late that had the wrong writing on it, county web sites that still said photo id was required. we felt the state did not properly educate voters, and there were voters that were required to show id. we had a report of a poll worker that was requiring id and told the voters when the voters pushed back, well, in some polling places it's not
8:37am
required, but it's required here. [laughter] um, you know, that went wrong. >> i'm sure we'll come back to that. >> in states, you know, it was interested in the conversation before talking about how the concentration of long lines are in densely-populated, you are pan areas. we're a civil rights organization, we're very concerned about seeing communities of color greatly, you know, higher level impacted by these leans. and in a state like ohio, there were attempts to in the name of uniformity to restrict people to vote early. there were counties that had taken steps previously to take steps to minimize lines. because, obvious, if you're in a rural county, your line's going to be shorter on election day. we don't think that's a problem for counties that have that problem to take extra steps so that the voter access overall is equal, but there might be different options to meet the needs of those voters, and those were restricted.
8:38am
you saw saw in florida were there were long lines, like i said, people voting until two in the morning. you created longer lines and confusion during early vote. that last weekend we saw, you know, people outside the library in miami-dade county until one in the morning. you know, we feel like those steps went in the wrong direction, and those some of the things that went wrong on election day. >> okay, thank you. jeremy, how did 2012 differ from 2008? we heard about long lines in 2008. why did this generate so much attention including from the president himself who said we have to fix this? >> yeah. well, first of all, thanks for having me here. i'm excited to have this conversation. as somebody who's been on now both the president's campaign out in the field sort of fighting against some of these laws that were put into place over the last couple years, this is deeply personal to me and watching, you know, folks fight to stay in those lines and make sure their vote was cast is something that's inspirational. but, you know, what we saw in 2012 in the country is just
8:39am
unacceptable. it's, frankly, it's unacceptable. you know, professor mcdonald is here, we had about 59% participation among folks that were eligible according to his statistics. some of the data's still coming in. frankly, a lot has been said about the great, the turnout being up, you know, amongst certain populations but, frankly, i'm not satisfied with 59% participation, and i think a lot of people in this room aren't satisfy with the that either. what we saw in 2012 that was different from 2008, you know, frankly is what happened was there were a lot of partisan laws put into place that were not helpful in terms of increasing access or integrity to our elections. and, you know, eric has mentioned them over and over again. cutting voting days in florida was not about anything but making it harder for certain people to vote, and let's just call it what it is. the florida gop chair who has since resigned said exactly what it was. it was put in place to make it harder for democratic voters to turn out.
8:40am
we saw the leader of the house in pennsylvania say that the photo id law would help mitt romney in the state of pennsylvania. and so the difference between what we saw in a lot of these states in the 2008 and 2012 is that it was a blatant partisan attempt often times to change the rules of the election very close to the election which caused a lot of the confusion in places even where those laws didn't go into effect for this election but might in the future. and so that was, i think, the biggest difference and potentially why so much was covered about it because it was seen as a partisan moy to change the -- ploy to change the election. but what we also saw on a positive note is, and there's a lot of folks in this room that have been doing this for a number of years is what we saw in and again in 2012 are tens of thousands of election officials at the local level who just want to do their job and do their job very well and did it very well. what we also saw was in the courts we saw judges and courts who, you know, really took their
8:41am
job seriously and did a thorough investigation of some of these laws. and so i think there were some very positive things, and there were a lot of groups that really worked to make sure we could increase our campaign being one of them. but the difference was the partisan nature of these laws were put into effect after the 2010 election that were designed to make it more difficult to vote. that was not seen in 2008, and that's why i think you see more people paying anticipation in 2012 as the reason for the lines being longer. the lines were, therefore, going to be longer, and there did not feel like on the ground that there was as much effort as there needed to be to get the right resources in the hands of these good election officials at the local level to do the job they needed to do, and i could talk more about the stats of what we found was wrong, but i'll come back to that later. >> yes. i think that'll be our next question, as a matter of fact. scott, what were the lessons learned from your perspective, and can you see any solutions immediately on the table that
8:42am
might draw bipartisan support? >> just to echo what jeremy said, i think he's right in the sense that there's a lot of -- the elections officials are underprepared for the job. if you've ever been to a polling location, ask the person who's processing your vote or managing the location how much they get paid, what they do on a regular abasis, how much they got trained, how long they've been doing it, they're just massively underprepared. obviously, i respectfully disagree with you on why the lines are longer, but i think we can all agree that elections officials need to be better prepared, and they need to spend more resources to make sure people can vote and they don't have to wait in lines until one a.m. i think everyone can agree with that. as far as bipartisan going forward, everyone's going to argue about the laws and regulations, but at least what campaigns can do is especially on a collaborative basis when they come through is work together to make sure the elections officials are reporting correctly times, locations, um, papers,
8:43am
whatever's required which i know happened in massachusetts, i know it happened in, it happened in a couple of congressional races in california when there was, um, bilingual ballots, things like that. i mean, these campaigns do work together on specific occasions, and any campaign i'm on i always try to reach out to the other side to make sure those things are worked out. um, but, yeah, i mean, i don't hold out any hope that there's going to be any great, grand, bipartisan agreement on voter id laws or, you know, internet voting or whatever it may be to alleviate some of these problems because at the end of the day a lot of us are campaign professionals, and we want to do everything we can to help our side, and sometimes we think that's voter id, longer lines, whatever it may be. >> but you're all identifying resources to those running the elections as an important touchstone, and that is not somewhere that we are yet, so, i mean -- >> absolutely. the first job i ever had in politics was $0 -- $40 to watch
8:44am
a polling location in orange county, california. 16 years old, obviously, i didn't want vote -- i didn't vote. i remember saying in someone's garage, and the guy had gotten up at four a.m., took apart four voting booth locations. three of them worked, one of them didn't, and i think the precinct was about 800 voters. i remember thinking there's only three boothses? i thought everyone voted. the people who do this, you know, they are truly 99.999% of them are doing it for the right reasons, and they're just overworked and underprepared for what's going forward, and then you throw in natural disasters, and it just gets, you know, it's hard to prepare for that. >> that's another one we'll come back to. all three of you were on the ground on election day. i was on the ground. we did a story on people monitoring the polls on both sides of the aisle.
8:45am
what were possibly the most disturbing things you saw or the most surprising things you saw on election day itself? >> first of all, we weren't on either side of the aisle, we were just trying to make sure that the american voters can vote, and i think that should be something from all political parties can 'em embrace. one of the great american values is the right to vote. if you disagree with me and you want to vote, you should vote. and i think everyone should be working through a system where if you're eligible and you can vote, you're able to. you heard among all three of us at least that kind of peace, and hopefully moving forward we can come to consensus on that something that was somewhat surprising to us but wasn't really and i think it's disturbing is that a lot of the same problems that we've seen in past elections we saw this year. you know, there was a lot of conversation about voter id. there was a lot of conversation about challengers or intimidation or deception or, you know, things that the media really want to jump on, and there were some of those
8:46am
problems, but what we saw by and large on election day was things we've seen every election cycle, things that we haven't taken steps to address. .. >> do it effective voter education and take care of these issues. until we address that systemic issue i think you will continue see things over and over again. if they want something that is a little bit kind of theater of the absurd situation, in
8:47am
galveston, texas, there were 39 polling places that open in the afternoon because they didn't give enough time to turn the machines on and let them on a. those are simple things that turn out to be, impact areas. that was something that surprising to you or the high number of ballots in fulton county where they didn't have the right information. especially in predominant african-american precincts. ran out of provisional ballots throughout the day because there were so many provisional ballots being cast that you had voters that had no option and had to walk away. that's something that in this country should never have a situation. >> great examples. >> we had a great team headed by bob and courtney who are real heroes. we have a good system to track what we're seeing. just break down what we saw on election day. about 32% of the issues we saw
8:48am
were related to ballot shortages and capacity issues. basically lack of resources. 20% came from the overuse of provisional ballots. we were saying this over and over again when it should not, voters should not have been given a provisional ballot but were. a lot of that was about training. a lot of it was about misunderstanding. 16% of the problems with oversight issues. machine problems, polls opening late, different issues with the actual site. then the rest all in single digits have do with a bunch of other things. and we were sitting issues here and there, and we don't just see don't just see the election date anymore as election day. we see it as early voting time. a lot of these issues we saw leading up to election day, and thankfully and lawsuits that have girly but we were able to address those issues far in advance which is a big issue -- advantage of early voting.
8:49am
that was kind of what we were seeing on election day. we clearly saw an increased level of turnout and was along lines which caused a lot of these issues that i just talked about here, what caused those long lines. those are the breakdowns of what we -- nothing was surprising to me because we have been doing this for a while and resolve of these things in the early vote. the length of the lines in florida did not make us, therefore we're not surprised by the length of the lines we saw on election day in florida. i think the number one thing was the ballot shortages. we had a great team, andrew and tim are here from our analytic team but if anybody wanted to what we thought the turnout was going to be is at their location we could've told them, that the officials. they were under prepared and underresourced with number of ballots which is just unacceptable. you can do the math. there's ways to address that. should not up and having these
8:50am
problems which caused long lines. it goes back to lack of resources, lack of turn. in some cases it goes back to the fact that laws are put in place that made harder for people to vote early, which therefore have more people voted on election day and a lot of places which caused longer lin lines. >> i will echo. we have a pretty good have how many voters show up in these precincts now. it amazes me when some of the don't necessarily, they are surprised when 50% of an 800 person registered precinct shows up and they'll have 10 provisional ballots. i, to this day, don't understand why they are not prepared there or don't understand it. i don't think any campaign, especially from a bipartisan standpoint, would not be willing to share that information ahead of time. i think it's something that should happen going forward. we saw a lot of the same things, at least from, more with the
8:51am
national republican senatorial committee, albert shortages, ballot shortages. the other thing that generally speaking i'm probably sure with all of it more of is, and i hesitate to call is, but for lack of a better term, voter intimidation. sometimes with a lot of overzealous people at the 150-foot one. it's both sides. i'm sure as a conservative republican you hear me say there's a lot of union members who like to be there. and on the republican side there's a lot of overzealous supporters on our side, but i think that alone brings different dimensions. not in every state. but that's something that we had voters say i don't feel comfortable walking past or don't feel comfortable walking in or whatever that is. that shouldn't be the case for anybody. it's not a massive problem. it's not in the double-digit percentage, but anytime anyone
8:52am
feels uncomfortable going into polling location, that's something we take to heart. a lot of the same things. one of the points, segue, i know we'll go back and forth on the length of lines but one step that comes back is there's roughly, roughly 300,000 more voters this time in 2008. 6200 precincts, 5300 polling locations, clearly less early vote days but even these polling locations don't necessarily, they are not jampacked 12 hours a day. while i do agree the lines are longer, i just don't necessarily think that it was because of regulations or because of someone trying to nefariously suppress the vote. i think it literally was unprepared officials. and not enough people working. that comes down to the county level. when that happened in miami-dade, not a republican on city council that is pushing those funds over. that's something they can handle at the county level.
8:53am
i think that's something at least my bipartisan standpoint everyone agrees we need more resources. as far as how me days we go, it's not for me to decide but at least in terms of resourcing i think i can help a lot of these lying issues. >> i would disagree with you on a lot of what you just said, but i do think -- [laughter] >> respectfully. >> look, maybe, it's 2012 in the united states of america. acceptable to the people voting after midnight ever. so whether it's more people would be able to vote or not, even if was the same number of people it's unacceptable. we need to do every single thing we can possibly do to avoid that. everything. that does not mean after you win a gubernatorial election that you cut the number of days, number of hours people can vote, or in ohio's case, to cut the we cannot early vote. to spend millions of dollars, millions of taxpayers dollars to fight to stop the last three
8:54am
days of early vote and to all the way to the supreme court of the united states does not help lines. we know that. that does not make lines shorter. it does not make it more accessible. we know that. everybody in this room knows that. cutting the number of days is not helpful. we should do everything we can, everything we can, and part of it is number of days, number of hours. but in addition, part of it is also knowing how many people are going to go vote and, therefore, having the number of boost you need to pass, the number of backup ballots should machines go down, the number of provisional ballots unique if you have some of those. there's a lot of things that aren't really about, a lot of it is implementing. it's not helpful to send a message to folks that we're going to cut your hours in cut out the cynical and all the synthetic clearly partisan attempt and they were directed when you see it afterwards as people than talking the. someone said the headline coming out of the first section today, children don't vote early in the
8:55am
day. don't vote early in the day for early vote. headline should be we need to fix the system so people can go whenever they want and not stand in line. the headline is we need to fix the system with better laws and better implementation of laws at the local level. >> i like to come back to the early vote question because i think are a number of things we can talk about. i want to jump now to voter id which is another very controversial item on the agenda. and, of course, there were a number of states but id law some of which were struck in court and it was a lot of speculation as to how this affected of voter participation. what do we know about whether id laws or the confusion around them actually prevent people from voting or conversely, possibly stimulated him to vote more because they were intimidated or angry about these laws? >> we definitely saw a lot of confusion about voter id. i talked about in pennsylvania, that was one example.
8:56am
something we saw, it's hard to quantify who stayed home because of voter id. there is an impact on people who hear something, get a call, get america said voter id is required, how do you quantify that asset issue? it's difficult to fully quantify but the things we did here is more confusion. i talk about pennsylvania. and ohio we got reports about polls who were not applying the id requirement. if you have a photo id, the actress has to match. proof identification not a presidency. utility bill address has to match. we got a number of reports of voters having a drivers license rejected because the address didn't match. in michigan, and if you have photo id, you still should be able to vote just on affidavit. i think jocelyn can attest that is not an option that is often
8:57am
given to the voters even if a voter asks for. there is resistance. so we had a number of problems with that. virginia, there was confusion because you're a new law that went into the work of multiple forms of id. we did get reports of people that were being told they have to show a photo id. in texas during early vote that was confusion about the id requirement. we didn't have as many reports and south carolina about confusion. so it was mixed but it wasn't just states that had a debate about it but it affected this entire process because it greatest confusion about what was required to vote and what wasn't. that was an impact we saw. >> we might not agree on this one. i guess a lease on a voter id stuff, anything that we can do to make sure they minimize voter fraud, that being said i think all, we'll have and the total
8:58am
stories about it being back on it being good, it not being affected i would love to see a study offer this election telling me something inclusive. good thing we're at pew. maybe they can do something, i don't know. anecdotal evidence all around, and i don't discount those. i've read a lot of the same reports. we are trying to make voting easier as well as maintain the integrity of the vote. vote. anything we do along those lines i think should be done. voter id is something i think should be implemented. i think it's been implemented effectively. perfectly, no. but effectively in many states. i could be proven wrong by a study but i would like to see one. see how it all plays out. >> i think a couple things on this. we probably agree on some of the things here. number one is the problem with this election was voter id, states are trying to jam it through three months before an election. you would've done it a year before two years before.
8:59am
that's the problem. because you can't jam through a piece of legislation but everyone here knows, pennsylvania, of how that doesn't work. because people are confused because of local officials are not able to do a good enough job of getting accessible and free ids to everybody who doesn't have them. and and tell us taken together system in place to give free and accessible ids are going to doesn't have an, voter id should not going place. if a state has that and can guarantee that anybody who doesn't have a photo id that have a way for them to get a free id without having to go drive somewhere to get it, and we would be willing to talk about that because that's common sense. in addition to which it happened bipartisan and a bipartisan way, okay, we would be willing to -- democrats were going to sit down in a state that does not have photo id and talking about that as long as it is free and accessible. we do other things that make the voting process more accessible. we are interested in having
9:00am
integrity in the system. no one on our side takes that, it's not a joke but we take it very seriously. when we saw secretary of state nevada prosecute someone for trying to vote twice, we applauded that. when the officials in virginia crackdown on the republican firm that was committing fraud with registration, we applauded that. we do think there should be integrity in the system. what can't happen is too much, three months before an election we put in place photo id though some people of access do and it essentially is creating a tax on other folks. what they got away if we're going to go this route to have on the other side a willingness to say okay, in exchange for that we'll have more hours of vertical, make it easier for people. what can we do to make more accessible if we're going have this on the other hand. i think there is bipartisan solution that we can't have his photo id trying to get jim to at the last minute. >> we could go for hours but
9:01am
there are studies. there are studies that show the reason behind id laws, though rate of fraud are almost on existent. so the reason behind these laws, voter impersonation has not existed at the studies pew put forward is one in four americans are eligible are not registered. we are not attacking the problem. if you want integrity election with what everyone should want, let's attack the problem. the problem is how we register voters. not people going for polling place to polling place and impersonate voters. statistics and study over and over again show that is not true. we have studies that show what the problem is why don't we address that? 2012 was a repeat of 2008 because instead of addressing the root causes of the problems, we went in the wrong direction and id this whole debate about
9:02am
politicians, specific forms of ideas but not this broad range to identify yourself and vote. it's very limited. it took us in the wrong direction. and distracted us from the real problem. hopefully we can afford because that's where you find a bipartisan commitment spent i do want to follow-up on this. i totally agree with you, particularly on the voter registration from. multiple states put laws in place in 2010, 11 that made it harder for lunch and -- harder to register voters. go register another voter. you should have to register all men espoused to do that, there is no reason for the. that doesn't stop voter fraud. it doesn't make our elections -- there is no reason that you should do that. the only reason to do that is republicans want to make it harder for us to do voter registration. let's call it what it is. it's a partisan thing. we saw the same thing with governor scott.
9:03am
they made it harder to register voters. that's a problem. we should make it easier for folks to register. >> i applaud nevada. and i applaud the states like colorado, but had to work on their websites. if you going to let someone register online, we can learn from the last panel how to make the website usable for folks. in ohio you could go on and change a registration but it was harder than going to the dmv site and finding information. you've got to make it easier for folks. there are people. on the panel before that would help do that. probably problem. so i think we got to make it easier for people to register the vote and stop an awesome place that make more difficult because it should be a basic fundamental right that we should be encouraging as opposed to discourage and. those laws were put in place for partisan reasons. >> it's an emotional issue with strong feelings of both sides and will come back to the strength questions i'm sure.
9:04am
one reason i want to switch, talk about hurricanes and is i'd like to know what you think the lesson, if any, that were learned from hurricanes and experience were, because i think it's very likely we'll have more whether extremes, and the second thing is, are the things we can learn from this about innovative ways to direct voters to polling places? i think there's some states that are doing kiosks where you can go, regardless of where you live, you can vote in that locale. was there anything useful we to take away from hurricanes in the? >> that would've been a great question for the previous panel. election officials in new york and new jersey, just can't imagine the level of stress and how much hard work they had to go through. and i applaud them for the heroic effort they did to even put any kind of an election in place on those days. you have polling locations, websites that have the locations.
9:05am
all of a sudden the week before every single polling place -- how do notify somebody? that goes be on my level of expertise but i think it showed that wasn't issue. i went to the sector estates website and they told me to show by polling place and it was under water. and the sector estates office they're doing a lot of good work in terms of trying to direct people. we're trying to help them. we had to open up to other call centers to take new jersey calls. it was a 128% increase. we did a lot of work with her niece the a system that works in normal time didn't. especially when you emergency changes in polling places. clearly there needs to be better emergencies in prepared as. were have strong by the law but both states, almost every voter -- you have an excuse to vote absentee. there's no excuse. so he had a week before where other states you might've had a
9:06am
significant -- in north carolina united states is a good portion of the electorate that already voted. new york and new jersey didn't have it. in both those states if you cast a ballot at a precinct in normal time, it doesn't count at all. fortunately the stake at the last minute had executive order that opened that up. but how much education was able to get it when people are trying to unburied allies, didn't have electricity and power. allowing people who cast additional ballot at a precinct would have provided more flexibility, understanding ahead of time so people knew they could be gone two and a precinct and at least have it count. there just wasn't the ability for some people to get back to that location. i think looking at forward thinking ways, other options i think, expand the way you vote and looking at how you inform people about the polling locations, text messaging or
9:07am
other, going on break you, how would is, that clearly broken. >> for me, it's a problem of the electoral college. my job was to get to 270 electoral votes in key battleground states. we didn't do much with sandy given what was. i'm not an expert on it at all. just to be honest. i do think that there are a lot of things we learned and what we did on the campaign. text messaging being one example. how can we of the state of the figure multiple pathways in multiple pieces of technology be able to get information out to voters much more quickly with much more of the kind of new technology that would individualize information for folks based on where they live. and send them to websites that are easy to maneuver and easy to get around, or ways for them to do it on their mobile devices. we should be ready for that in
9:08am
the future and have the systems in place, and have that ready in all states moving forward. i think there's some really good things out of sandy, how it affected voting. >> any thoughts, scott? >> unfortunate we didn't spend as much time in those states addressing those similar reasons because the electoral college. i guess i would just say i know we're cautiously optimistic. talking earlier about the technology allowed to vote and why cautious optimistic, anytime you put anything in the systems are so much smarter trying to gain a. maintain integrity of the vote. it's hard to plan for something like that. ya never ever happens again, especially around an election. i don't know how it could have been -- wasn't have a greater i don't know how it could've been handled better given the circumstances and i don't know how states can prepare themselves to handle the things in a future. there's also much campaigns can do. you can only take them to the
9:09am
polls but if you're not at the polling location because of a natural disaster it's hard to remedy that. i don't have a good answer to the. i just know it's going to happen again, unfortunately, and campaigns in states need to be prepared for some pluck that. >> you also have states impacted still processing registration. so you had again it goes to registration, still on the issue where they're still working through the registration process when the storm hit. that's another issue we would add. >> it goes back to registration, which i would like to come back to the. communication with voters here are some voters didn't know that if they went to one of the center places that would only be able to vote. so i've a lot more questions but i've a feeling that with many in the audience with questions. why do we open up to audience questions and see what others would like to ask.
9:10am
who has a question? spent john fortier. especially for jeremy but for the whole panel. you mentioned one of the big reasons complaints people have about election day was improperly given provincial bowsprit gender breakdown of what the improper reasons were or what was the biggest problem but i think -- sort of legal ways, states are using them for purposes but they're not necessary giving people the right information. what was the biggest issues in that area of? >> i'm not going to give you the best answer because we are still analyzing this, going through. we have this online system for all of our election observers, and the folks who were protecting vote to put in information. we categorize them by type of we haven't got into the second level what we're doing a process to analyze that and we'll be happy to share it. most of it was just a false understanding of what somebody need to vote.
9:11am
election officials taking folks need id in states where they didn't. just misreading the law, yeah, basic pieces where people should been allowed to vote. it's just a provisional ballot. and you seem as the numbers come back in in ohio and in ohio whether the number of provisional ballots, a majority of those were democratic voters in urban areas. in places where they were longer lines and that sort of thing. so we've got to look through them and analyze, i can't give you grace answer but we will make that available. what are the things we could start moving forward, whether it's about training. we also do a better job of educating our voters sometimes about what they should bring just to avoid that kind of thing spent i think the people in the room can answer that better than the panel. you had a ohio and in arizona, virginia, in florida, people were in the wrong that word,
9:12am
sorry, absentee voters and showed up on election day. they had discussed a provincial ballot. you mentioned longtime coworkers who are under stress, sometimes fall back. it's supposed to go in the state. tampa there was an issue where the line of poll workers had to the county was overwhelmed. the voters were not able to get through and get voters that were not showing up in the coworkers were not able to verify information. oftentimes voters showed up in absentee but there's a myriad of reasons. >> machines going down. people automatically going to paper. actual paper ballot. >> i wonder, jeremy and others, as campaigns get better at getting volunteers and volunteers -- do you worry about the worry about the impact it has on people who might have been poll workers are things who are helping administer the electoral process?
9:13am
>> that's a good question. we told our state's relatively early on if folks want to volunteer, this is very different from our own eight approach, we prefer that. because of this issue. i think campaigns need to be how do they help get folks to go, help with the election as opposed to just going out in getting people to go because if you don't have votes going to have problems. we encourage folks in 2012 if they had in poll observers or move were volunteers for the state or the county, to go do that because we thought that was as important. we had, we were in a fortune system where we have enough volunteers on the campaign cited have our turn. i think campaigns need to think long and hard particularly campaigns where they're concerned about the
9:14am
administration of the election and make sure there are as many volunteers as possible. so i would tell campaigns in the future, look at that because it's important that are enough volunteers helping the election officials spent the one problem with that, of course, is sometimes there are partisan interest whether some poll workers were the parties control for the poll workers who we saw, poll workers who were requiring id but shouldn't be, or we had reports from some places this is only obama voters in the polling place. it wasn't just a republican issue. would democratic poll workers that were saying things. we do need to encourage more people but we need to be careful that the poll worker does not become a partisan strategy. >> that's right. >> field staffers worst nightmare. ever volunteer to theoretically work within 12 hours on election day, or go work in a polling
9:15am
location. i've seen it go both ways. i'm not a field staffer by any means but i would always encourage those people to put it in there. it's interesting again, i was surprised when i learned, just needs to be -- i say this knowing it probably can't be changed but again i think 6200 precincts in florida, open 12 hours, multiple days, sometimes these people get 40 or $50. you are truly, truly serving their country. anything we do to incentivize and/or states can direct more resources towards that the campaigns will split. some of them will let people go, some of them aren't. [inaudible]
9:16am
>> it depends on how to ask the question. if you ask the question, though to -- photo id to go, yes. if you ask the question just a couple at a photo id law for must win election and not make it accessible to everyone and three, and easy to get, people don't support that. they don't. voters are smarter than that. and so i think it's about what you talked about in addition to kind of a macro question, and actually what doesn't look like like in practice. people don't support it if, in fact, it does look like it's fair. they do if they think it's their. >> if anything we have a debrief on the c-3 side.
9:17am
they said one of the things they noticed on their phone banking was that even voters who, when they called and said a yes vote fraud is a problem we should crack down on, they got them to vote against it because of the cost issue. they said that's wrong because of voter fraud is a concern it's not as big a concern as to how much money. it was the longer conversation with those voters to explain the process but it was also understanding we did a study, in mississippi because the last election was about, should have passed overwhelmingly in mississippi. if you look at the underlying numbers it was over 74% of african-american voters voted against the ballot issues. it passed 67% of the vote, 74% of the community, collarbone
9:18am
voted against it. there was no real -- they understood that the impacts they had, so you have to look beyond just the survey numbers when people really understand the impact. they tend to express negative view towards the law. >> this is about priorities. to spend millions of dollars to put something in place that solving a nonexistent problem first is spending a million dollars on something very existing problem of lack of access and lack of resources at the local level to be able to administer elections, that's the question. why are we spending all this money on photo id. first is spending millions of dollars. that's about priorities in my mind spent we may be able to find common ground around registration because fundamentally, identity ties to registration. the roles are messed up, so that might go a long way to fix some of the problems. we're going to be said one undecided.
9:19am
spent earlier on, wendy underhill, earlier on you talked about new jersey and i'm not sure you know that we have the state election directors from new jersey here. so if you have a couple of minutes at the and, if this time we could possibly ask bob giles to ask have to ask how he managed the emergency their. >> we would welcome that. >> i have a question about provisional ballots but before do, on the minnesota think him the other thing is interesting to note is that a good thing of the information toward the end of that campaign on the ie constitutional amendment have to do with whether if the amendment passed that would have jeopardized their election day registration regime. and it is a very popular process in minnesota. site just wanted to mention that. on the long lines come on the problems on election day, we all know that provisional ballots are the big issue. we also know that a lot of people cast provisional ballots
9:20am
because they show up in the wrong place. we also know that a number of states in the past at that statewide portability. it's one of those things it seems like there should be total consensus on because once someone is registered there's a reason why they shouldn't be able to vote if the move. we all know 30% of the population moves every two years. i just wonder whether we can't go back and replicate what in fact florida has had for years until the world act last you. statewide portability, whereas other states have a version of it that unfortunately requires provisional ballot, and then counting that valid when it's checked off against the role. there's no reason why those votes have to be provisional. they could be a regular ballots and they all have statewide database is now in states. i'm wondering if anybody would comment on that. >> i agree. with everything you said, bob. in ways that we can get that person to regular ballots. i think that's a problem is
9:21am
provisional ballot is a knee-jerk reaction. whether it's poll workers needing better access to database, understanding, making sure there's enough phone lines. they seems to be a little bit of a disconnect when voters show up at an improper location, giving them a provisional ballot. the flip side is which we doing everything we can to count any but. if we cast about in the wrong precinct we should still, we can verify that valid. there's nothing that prevents him from their find a balance. there's a reason why states should be resisting that. >> i think you are totally right on. the statewide portability issue. that was one of the most cynical laws passed between 2010-2011 in florida. had been going on for years. does not any problem with it. this is a pretty cynical law to say that judges register when you move. there's a reason we should be able to do that. there's a reason we shouldn't able to have systems in place
9:22am
like minnesota or north carolina for you to vote anywhere in the county and you can have multiple locations. this gets back to your point. in ohio having early but with one location is not -- 400,000 voters live in one county and 4000 voters live in another. that's not equal access. so i think there's portability issues. you ought to be spilled to vote in multiple locations per county. clark county, where they did in nevada is a model where you have different sites and to make it as easy as possible for people to go. that's the kind of law we should be passing. >> and the registration is another good topic. >> is there anyone with a question right now? we will continue to keep it open and we could also move a on for the moment. >> [inaudible] >> yes, i think that would be great.
9:23am
>> not to put them on the spot or anything. [applause] >> i lost my ties in hurricane sandy. [laughter] >> that's why i'm not prepared today. thank you for the opportunity, and i want to thank all the election officials around the country for their support. got a lot of calls. i reached out to a lot of officials and they were very helpful with some of our questions. and i want to thank the pew center and the team for assisting us with getting the word out. i guess what the gentlemen up here was talk about as far as some of the issues of communication that maybe we should've done a better job of communicating all of the directives and everything we got out. the problem was there was no power.
9:24am
so whether it's coming, getting online or watching the news, we were conducting meetings with state election officials sitting in the car so they could charge their phones on the car charger and i was the only way we could communicate. so getting the word out was for difficult, and you know, i guess i should ask you guys, if we were not a swing state and yet to reach out to your voters there how would you have done things differently than we did? [applause] >> that's a great question. for people who have worked on campaigns. >> look, you know, i was not, i think is very careful in my comments not to criticize because i don't know what you went through. i wasn't there. and i do want to say back to the beginning of what help my opening remarks mention is i do think that if you sit there and criticize election officials, we're not criticizing you. what i would've done on a camping site had we been in that situation is number one, we would have figured out from you
9:25am
guys working very closely, and hopefully we would have a good relationship with build up over time and i've just come to you at -- >> i'm sure it spent here we are. and the folks on the ground would've been folks from there. who i think would've figured out, how do we communicate to our voters and the way we would have done that can most easily as using our fast e-mail list and text message list in the state they committed to those folks to say now we need you to make it with other voters using our call to a under in a system to using a text message system to get that information. we would've been following your lead to say you tell us the locations are changing because we had to figure from you where they are. you tell us what are the new laws and we will make sure we communicate that to our voters, to our volunteers and hopefully will communicate to our voters. but there's no silver bullet that we would've done everything we could come and we probably would've had some of the same issues that you guys had in terms of, our office would've been flooded in a lot of places.
9:26am
>> we used reverse 911. so every time we come up with a solution, there was another hurdle to get over to get to that. we work with utility company, gave him a list of our polling places so they could prioritize what they're going to get power back on. the friday before the election with 900 polling places without power. though they were really well with us. once we knew were polling places were not going to open, we moved, that's when we started consolidating and bringing them to other locations. we didn't want to do that until we knew there was not going to be power. then the counties, and we put the state put out a directive that they had to go to those old polling places, to places, put signs up, instruct folks where to go. that was another what should someone have gotten wrong information or not have the ability to get information, they could go, see the sign with the new location and go there. there's definitely a lot of hurdles to get over, and like i
9:27am
said, the law of unintended consequences but every time you fix one problem it created two or three more. so you end up, and you could have the best contingency plan in the world, but if you end up being reactive as proactive as you want to be in those situations. >> i will agree. my comment wasn't at all a criticism about what we heard about. what we did with you guys is we had a hotline, a lot of -- [inaudible] we tried to buy some radio time but it was we had the same problem. this hurricane, how do we, new generosity of some fund raising with money in the room who was focus on making sure new jersey and new york had an effort. so we tried how to get the phone line without power. get calls for summit about a problem, working closely with the office. if we got her, we got there and that's okay.
9:28am
so there was a great relationship between our organization and your office try to relay information as best as we possibly could. that was the best solution. >> we looked at existing laws that we had and we expanded those, rather than try to create new laws and new solutions, therefore, we allowed anywhere in the state. that means you could get the commandant, which we got, president, senate, state questions. we got the word on that out especially good. e-mail voting, we had a for overseas and military voting. we allow that for people in a state of new york, we're getting hundreds of phone calls, colin, it's too late for me to get a paper. asking what can i do. i think the quote that hit home the most was i lost my house, please don't let me lose my right to vote. that really hit home with us. we did whatever we could to get these people the ability to
9:29am
vote. >> you mention e-mail. how did that work out? overall, good? >> in general, we are still doing the analysis of how, but at the time, again, being the situations that we were in that with the tools that we used, maybe wouldn't any normal situation, but it was something that if we didn't do that they would be hundreds if not thousands of people who would not have been able to vote that they. >> you think it is something you would consider institution going forward? >> i'm not going to comment right now i've met. >> i have about 10 questions i would like to ask you but i'm sure you'll still be here. thank you so much spin and take you for the opportunity. and i think you, guys. thank you so much applaud the. >> one more question. >> my question was action on new jersey. >> okay. [laughter]
9:30am
>> what i wanted to know was, what were the disruptions that you experienced and have your county officials managed them with poll worker training and recruitment because of sandy? >> there's definitely concern that poll workers might not show up on election day because we, we did know where they may be in the state, if they were displaced, there was this concern that they may not be coming, not even be able to get back to the polling place to work. counties lined up their backups an alternate poll workers. and then as farce training, for some of the changes, they put information in packets. and again, happening so close to the election you couldn't hold training class. so the counties did a phenomenal job in finding polling places and getting poll workers there. but it's a matter putting stuff in there, in their supply,
9:31am
additional provisional ballots because we knew we were going to allow them to vote anywhere in the state. so with those additional ballots being instructions, so it was not, enough time to any formal training unfortunately, but we got the word out as best we could. >> the way we have gone, unfortunately you will not get your last word in, but it's been wonderful having you guys. thank you so much. added to think we have gotten some interesting points of commonality introduced here, which include the notion that campaigns can work with elected officials, which has happened, and possibly can work more. the idea that some democrats are willing to talk about an idea i think is very interesting. and, obviously, the ongoing questions around registration which i'm sure will be discussed in other panels. so thank you again forg. [applause] >> just ahead we will return to the pew center examining the 2012 election with a look at the impact of voter id laws.
9:32am
>> today, members of the electoral college are meeting in the respective states around the country to cast votes for president and vice president. one of these sessions will be in ohio where president obama won the state's popular vote and its 18 electoral votes. we will have live coverage from the ohio statehouse senate chamber in columbus beginning at noon eastern over on c-span3.
9:33am
>> i think the challenge for us is we want to be on every device for every person at every hour of the day. we are a mobile society, and so the challenge is to make sure that we are on ipads, computers, phones, as well as the traditional viewing, which is in the living room, now on a wonderful high definition television screen. the of the challenge we have obesity is spectrum is a finite resource, and others want that resource, and yet, there's not enough spectrum in the universe to do all video by broadband. so our architecture, one that everyone in the location versus there is which is one-to-one, their system will always fail because simply the congestion of transmitting video one-to-one. you can't do that.
9:34am
>> "the communicators" continues its look at the future of television tonight with gordon smith at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> now back to the pew center conference on the 2012 election. one of the speakers at this session was ohio secretary of state who talked about his state's voter id laws and the challenges of running an election in a swing state. this runs about an hour. >> i think they both have given -- have a great panels we have this afternoon. we have to end my five at the olympics i want to get started as quickly as possible. this panel we brought together a series of experts and leaders in the field, kind of talk about the issue of integrity, where voter id fits into all of this, and i don't think we can do better than the panel that we have right now. i'll let our moderator introduce our panel, many of whom you will recognize, so with that let me
9:35am
introduce adam liptak, correspondent for the at times. >> you guys are in for a treat. really couldn't ask for a better handle to think through these issues of how to balance integrity and access. i'm going to say just a word about each of the panelists, their biographical materials available to you, and then we'll hear brief presentation from each of them and then we let a more general conversation and then i'll try to save some time for your questions at the in the. natalie tennant is this secretary -- such a state for west virginia. it says imagers she's the states most transparent officeholder. i'm literally mind. i half expected a ghost. more seriously she's also more investigations and convictions for legislation law violation by any other secretary. and maybe later on we can talk about what the data is and what kinds of problems election administrators face. and then here from ground zero
9:36am
of the 2012 election is secretary of state of ohio, john she's dead, -- jon husted. his current job in the ohio legislature and having served as speaker of the ohio house and a member of the ohio senate, and then finally michael pitts, law professor at indiana university, a specialist in voting rights, election administration and related matters. former law clerk on the eighth circuit and an attorney in the voting rights section of the civil rights division of the justice department. so i think first we'll hear from secretary of state tenant. >> good afternoon, everyone. it is good to be here and i must say that as a secretary elect i was here four years ago and honored to be back again have the opportunity. we are talking about ensuring integrity and data access and vote access at the same time.
9:37am
what i was asked to talk about is what west virginia does and how we have our voter id laws. again west virginia does have identification law, and many of them follow what many other states follow, especially when it comes to the help america vote act and the requirements but i will give you a brief of what it takes. the help america vote act, and since we had our discussion today, this is a very bad thing. i am trying to get rid of this in west virginia. this is your mail and voter registration application. we don't like this before. it costs about $6. i thought to be able to online voter registration as well that costs about 1 dollar, to be able to process. but the help america vote act requires can especially if you vote or if you register by mail and do not provide some type of photo identification you have to provide that either mail it in our the first time that you go vote, you need to show that type of identification of who you
9:38am
are. or if you go in person to the clerk's office, you show identification through showing a copy of a utility bill, a bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and current residence address. so we require that in west virginia. when you go to vote in west virginia, time and time again you do not show photo id but you have to take some verification. your name, address and then you sign your name as your voter verification. and so the question is, is that enough? is that enough of what we require? and i say yes, it is. and it has been for the last 10 years or so. and folks will say to me, natalie, doesn't west virginia have this reputation? and i said yes. west virginia does have his reputation of election fraud and as a matter of fact, we just had to read elected officials from southern west virginia who will be serving, and are serving time
9:39am
in federal prison. but in those cases stronger voter identification law was not have put a stop to what took place when they tried to manipulate the process of absentee voting. and so for me this is the interesting part that comes together, because i was out for real election in 2012, and i did not push for photo id in west virginia. and because of that, my opponent accused me of being soft on voter fraud. and so i have to laugh a little bit and i thought you know what? i'm learning something. they will say anything in a political race, won't they? so i laugh about that because uranium, the toughest secretary of state that west virginia has ever seen when it comes to more investigations and more convictions for election law violations than any other in state history. and not just talk about this one particular county.
9:40am
we have a county commission to try to post twice and we went after that person also. so my thought is how can they say that? and how can they say this about me? what is that distinction? here's what i think is an interesting rss is, they say i'm light on voter fraud. when i say i'm very tough on election law violation. because as has been stated of you before, we see that voter fraud is very, very small when you go to the .000 percent that has been talked about. but certainly from the 2010 election we had these investigations we had candidate from. we had official fraud. and so why do i tell you all of this? i tell you all this to give you a bit of background. i tell you all this because for me this is where ensuring integrity and access to the ballot need right here. i have been and i've said before that you can be pro-voter.
9:41am
you can be pro-voter access and anti-election fraud at the same time. i have shown that, and it's the history that we now have in west virginia. and for me as secretary of state, for me as a chief election official, i see the big picture of what needs to be taking place when it comes to integrity for election. this is not one aspect. it's the larger picture that we have that comes into play. and for me, this is how i approach it as the most transparent officeholder. i approach it as integrity is knowledge, or knowledge is integrity when it comes to elections. the way i put that into play is through the many different aspects through training of election officials. we heard that talked about today, because if you have that knowledge and understanding and well-trained election officials from the ground up, from a poll worker to the county clerk to the state election official, you will have that, and making sure
9:42am
they're following the process. that's why we have put online poll worker training, not just the poll workers but for anyone who's going in to vote. we have put videos on their website about the canvassing process. that is another step in the checks and balances that take place. and voters and citizens of west virginia also have the knowledge that if you're trying to chip away at democracy, if you're trying to mimic elite the process, you have a secretary of state is going to look into that and uphold the integrity of the process. and so all that together, for me, comes together. we do online and in webcasts that are on, webcasts of our press conferences. we give folks knowledge that we have liaisons were out and about on election day. but the reason that a want to be so open and the reason i want folks to know how the process takes place, because there are
9:43am
55 counties in west virginia but there's about 1800 precincts and it's the voters on the front lines and to have to be armed with the same knowledge, where we work together, and with a bigger focus of the election, of the process, the integrity of the election process. so that's where i am on this. i will sit down and listen to other folks at any other questions come and take questions as we go along. thanks. [applause] >> good afternoon. on jon houston. i used to be ohio's secretary of state. i want, this idea of balancing access and accuracy. i have one, i guess my best piece of advice is he going to find that balance, run a good controversy free election, don't become a secretary of state in a swing state. it just presents multiple
9:44am
problems. and, frankly, it is politics that stands in way of achieving that balance, not policy. it's the process of getting there that has been the biggest impediment for being were i think we should be in our state and going to explain to you the ohio experience. in 2011, not long after i was elected, i made a proposal that included a balanced approach. at ideas from local boards of elections. and that ideas from my democratic predecessor. even had some ideas from pew any. and we took this legislative package and we called it election modernization. as a former speaker of the house, i can tell you, i know how to run a bill through the legislative process. i checked all the boxes. we know how to sell a reform package. we went to the legislative leadership of both parties and we visited individually with all the committee members from both
9:45am
political parties in both the house and the senate. and we eventually got our package to be endorsed by every major newspaper in the state. what could go wrong, right? well, this is what happened. we had this bipartisan plan as it began to travel through the registration process, bipartisan bickering broke out and both sides want to see the scales tilted in their favor. ..
9:46am
>> they got enough petitions, and then eventually the republican legislature repealed it at my suggestion pause it was becoming -- because it was becoming too, just the rhetoric was too heated, we needed to start over, and we needed to avoid the cost of a referendum. that's what happened during the course of a yearlong battle trying to find that balance between access and accuracy in balancing that reform in ohio. eventually we had no reform, the damage was done. it set off partisan flames that continued through 2012 and even spawned a -- and if there was one moment of bipartisan agreement, we did pass a military voter bill during that process that had an amendment in it that shut down early voting during the saturday, sunday and monday before the election so that the boards of elections would have time to accommodate all of the early votes that they
9:47am
expected to be cast. it passed on a unanimous basis and eventually it blew up and became the first of eight federal lawsuits that we experienced in ohio. so even our moments of bipartisan agreement ended up blowing up in the end over the desire for both political parties and their allies to, um, achieve victory in terms of tilting the scales in their favor. finding that balance on a policy note is really not that hard. honestly, reasonable people can find a way to balance access and accuracy. the hard part is political. and i will tell you that election reform efforts, the partisan forces have stood in the way of this in our state, and i think that they will in every swing state because it's not just the people in your
9:48am
state that get involved, it's the people from across the country that decide from places in washington and other places that because of your swing state status that they just don't like your rules. and they participate. but voting is really a culture of a state. if you want to have confidence in it, it has to come from both sides, it has to come from within. people have to believe in that process, and it's different in all of our states. and it really, there were a lot of outrageous claims that occurred during the legislative process and our elections process in ohio. but if you're talking about that balance, what are the two big charges? suppression and fraud. those are the two, those are the two charges that you hear. well, charges of voter sup legs in -- suppression if ohio, i'll give you a few of them. it said that, basically, we were preventing -- our rules prevented people from having easy access to vote.
9:49am
well, here's what the rules are, you decide. for the first time, every single voter in our state received an absentee ballot request mailed to their home, that was nearly seven million voters. so every voter had nearly 35 days to vote without ever leaving their house, apartment or wherever they might have lived. over that 35-day period of early voting, vote centers were open weekdays from 8 to 5 for the first three weeks, 8 to 7 for the last two weeks. three of our neighboring states -- not west virginia, natalie -- don't have, have zero days of early, no-fault voting, and i think you can see that it's pretty easy to vote in ohio. you have more than a month to do it. and when you consider the fact when you consider this voting schedule and a record 1.8 million votes were cast, i believe that reasonable people will conclude that it's pretty easy to vote in ohio, and suppression was not an issue.
9:50am
what about fraud? well, let's define it. what is fraud? you have the legal definition and the political definition of what fraud is. for example, if a student from kentucky is going to college in ohio and they decide to vote there because the presidential election isn't close in their state even though, even though they're a kentucky resident for the purposes of their education, is that fraud? well, under ohio law it's not. what about the guy from massachusetts that drove his rv and lived in his sister's driveway and decided to register and vote 35 days before the election because he just decided he wanted to be an ohio resident for a while. is that illegal? not only ohio law. -- not under h law. what about if you showed up with your i voted today sticker and you received free pizza or sticker for casting your ballot that day? is that voter fraud? well, under ohio law it's not, but yet there are a lot of people who believe it is or it should be. i but what if you vote twice?
9:51am
i think under ohio law we would declare it to be fraud, and most people think it is. and we had hundreds of cases where this happened, or at least they're being investigated or reviewed right now. but the important thing i want folks to remember is they're running away with the story. they tried to vote twice, and our system caught it. so the bottom line is that the rhetoric doesn't match the reality of what the rules are in many cases. it is very easy to vote in our state, and also fraud is a very rare, is a very rare, um, occurrence. and let me just say that for us to move forward in the situation that we are in ohio, um, that we need not overreact to stories and that we need to seek ways of getting all the participants in the political process to admit, to stipulate that it's easy to vote and that fraud is rare.
9:52am
and until we can overcome those misperceptions, i think it's going to be very hard to get that balance in a swing state like ohio that we all seek. thanks. [applause] >> so with such an esteemed panel up here, i feel like i should announce my candidacy for indiana secretary of state. [laughter] with the neverending election cycle. and then i think about all the academic writings i've done as a law professor, what the opposition would do with those, and i think i won't. i'm here, i work in indiana, and i'm going to talk about indiana. and our experience so far with photo identification. indiana is important, i think, nationally for a couple reasons. number one, we were just about
9:53am
first -- is there anybody from georgia in the room? if there isn't, then indiana will take credit for being first in line on photo identification. as a requirement. and also that indiana has served as, essentially, the model for other photo identification laws that have been passed and have been litigated in the court system. and so one of the things that i've been doing for the last few years is trying to assess how many folks get caught up by indiana's photo identification requirement. there are two major issues in this debate that call out for empirical analysis. one of -- one is the extent of voter fraud, one is in-person voter fraud, what i call voter
9:54am
theft on election day, and the second is how many folks are actually disfranchised or, if you don't like that word, not capable offing having a ballot that they cast get counted because of the photo identification requirement that indiana has. and in indiana if you don't have a photo identification on election day when you go in to cast a regular ballot, you get to vote provisionally. and if the poll workers are doing their job correctly -- and a little bit more on that later -- they'll check off on the provisional ballot form the fact that the person didn't have an id. the photo id that is required. and what i've been doing is going county by county by county in indiana in the 2008 election cycle and in the 2012 election cycle to find out how many folks went into a polling place in indiana, cast a provisional ballot because they didn't have an id, and then how many of those votes were counted or not
9:55am
counted as the case may be. and here are some numbers for your consideration comparing both the 2008 primary and the 2012 primary. and i will tell you this, the 2008 data that i collected from the 92 counties was survey data. we called up the election officials and asked them how many provisional ballots they had overall, how many id-related provisional ballots they had overall and then for the county on each of those items. speaking of transparency, um, one of the nice things that's happened recently in indiana is that a law was passed that actually compels county election administrators to turn over the provisional balloting materials for public consumption under, basically, indiana's foia law. and so the 2012 data from the primary is based upon my actual review of all of the provisional
9:56am
ballots that were cast throughout the state of indiana. and, again, this has been tough data to compile because you have to go county by county by county to all 92 counties and kind of stay on folks to produce them. but you can see that, um, there are a fairly significant number of ballots that were cast in the 2008 primary and the 2012 primary and not that many provisional ballots were cast can, about 2700 in 2008 and about 600 in 2012. and even below that, um, there weren't that many provisional ballots related to identification. and most of the identification-related ballots are related to indiana's photo identification requirement. a few of them, about 10%, are related to the help america vote act requirement that secretary te, this nant spoke about. so those are the numbers.
9:57am
about 450 people had an id ballots, provisional ballots cast in the 2008 primary, about 129 in the 2012 primary. and just so you can get a sense of the rates in relation to the total ballots cast and then there are some other statistics there, um, what you see, at least the trend line -- and, again, indiana's one of the few states where you can do this trend between 2008 and 2012 -- is that there's an overall reduction in the rate of provisional balloting in the state of indiana and, essentially, a con come by about the reduction in the number of id-related provisional ballot os that were cast. and then the rate at which those id-related provisional ballots were actually counted has remained about the same, roughly one in every five id provisional ballots actually gets counted. that means about 80% of them do
9:58am
not. now, this research comes with some qualifications. first off, we don't know that the folks who cast provisional ballots because they didn't have an id weren't fraudsters. i can't prove that. i suspect that somebody who is intent on committing fraud is not likely to create the paper trail of provisional balloting that would lead them to more easily be caught, but i can't 100% certainty say that all those folks were legitimate voters, they were who they said they were. it also doesn't account for other ways that folks might get caught up in in the photo identification requirement. we don't have really good data out there on how many people are deterred from even going to a polling place in the first instance by the existence of photo identification laws. somebody talked about that in an earlier panel, but that data
9:59am
really isn't out there. there's also an issue with offer and acceptance of provisional ballots. provisional ballot os may not be being offered to folks by poll workers, and even if they are offered, voters may not be accepting them if they don't have an id and might just walk away from the polling place. and the third thing, and this kind of deals with provisional ballots generally, is i love poll workers. they're wonderful folks. [laughter] but at least in indiana, and i suspect this is true elsewhere, they have awful, tough time getting the paperwork filled out right. and so there's often provisional ballots that are in envelopes, and you have no idea why the provisional ballot was actually cast. and provisional balloting, more big picture, is -- and how we
10:00am
come up with some good practices about provisional balloting generally should also be a part of the conversation going forward from the 2012 election cycle, i think. what does this research suggest? first of all, it suggests that maybe photo identification doesn't have the massive disfranchising impact that some folks might think it does. and i think you kind of got a sense of that earlier on the stage where, um, the democrats were open to to talking about some kind of voter identification system. it might suggest that over time since there's a reduction in provisional ballots and in id ballots that there are less photo id problems, but it also could suggest that those folks are just staying home. number one thing i think it suggests is that provisional ballots are more likely to be filled out by folks who will vote democratic, and they're more likely to have id problems.
10:01am
the biggest difference between the 2008 and 2012 primaries is in indiana is what percentage of the electorate cast ballots and out of the democratic primary or the republican primary. in 2008 about 75% of the voters in the 2008 primary cast a ballot in the, in the president obama/senator clinton contest. and in the 2012 primary, it's almost reversed. 70% cast a ballot in the contest, the republican contest between senator lugar and richard murdoch. so it suggests that provisional ballots skew in favor, i guess, if that's the way to put it, of democratic voters. further research, i think we really need to find out how many folks are being deterred from going to a polling place at all to really find out the
10:02am
disfranchising impact of photo identification requirements. i think that's the number one thing. number two, now that these provisional ballots are subject to public access laws, we can actually perform a census of the folks in indiana who went to a polling place and didn't have an id and figure out what's going on with these folks and why this is happening. and the last one is the hardest to figure out, how many people were offered a provisional ballot or not offered a provisional ballot in the first instance and how many people didn't accept it. so with that data i'll turn it back over to -- >> thank you. [applause] that's a very nice set of perspectives, and maybe we can try to synthesize them a little bit, see what common ground and, perhaps, what points of difference they are. let me start, maybe, with secretary husted to follow up on what i understood west
10:03am
virginia's practice to be which is photo id to register, but only a signature to vote. is there a problem with that? >> you know what? honestly, there are a dozen ways that you could do this, and it would be perfectly fine as long as it's accepted within your state. if you can get political peace within your state and people to generally agree on what the rules are and unfortunately -- that's why i love the title balance. it's a balance. every time that you add something that makes it easier to vote, then you have to balance that with something that also makes it secure. that is -- and the more secure you make it, you need to make sure that you're not denying access. and i think it's a formula that is, that needs to be accepted state to state. there are any number of ways that you could do this. i made a proposal on when photo id was being discussed in ohio,
10:04am
and it had the value of being ignored by both political parties. because it's -- they wanted what they wanted. they didn't want what, um, was a balance. so there are any number of ways that you could do this. it's about getting people, again, for me it's not the policy. the policies can be worked out. there are any number of ways to run a good election system in your state. it's about setting aside the partisanship and the people that are constantly driving for political advantage at every turn with the rules for voting that are our biggest problem on photo id or any of these other issues. >> um, do you have something? so, professor pitts, to follow up and maybe push back a little bit on your methodology, i wonder in the current climate where voter id news stories and talk of voter suppression is so much in the air whether there might not be a very substantial number of people -- including in
10:05am
jurisdictions where you don't need to show photo id -- who stay away and, therefore, looking into the provisional stuff doesn't capture that? >> i think it's possible. i think it's unlikely based upon the data that we have that exists. for instance, and the problem with there are surveys of nonvoters that have been done. the problem is finding causation between lack of a photo id and not going to cast a ballot, because people will say, well, i didn't vote because i didn't have an id, but i also wasn't registered. so is that a person who's not voting because they weren't registered or not voting because they don't have an id? but even if you give them the menu like, you know, the weather was bad, didn't like the candidates, only about, i don't know, 7% of nonvoters say lack of id -- at least in indiana this was the case in 2008 --
10:06am
only about 7% of voters say that was one of many possible issues that they had. so i suspect that there aren't that many folks who are out there at least in indiana who are deterred. >> let me ask the two secretaries, there was so much this current season, so much coverage on both sides repeating charges by partisans about either voter fraud or voter suppression that you have to think that it entered the public consciousness and perhaps had an effect on turnout. but for the life of me, i'm not sure what direction that was. do you have any feeling? >> for west virginia i know that we had a voter identification photo id bill introduced in march, and that did have ramifications. it didn't go anywhere, but there were phone calls, more phone calls than usual for the may primary election and then especially here because of all of the publicity about photo id
10:07am
laws that we were having people say, so i need to bring a photo id. >> uh-huh. >> so much so that we sent a press release out that said no photo id required, but voter verification required. and that's the way it had been at least for ten years since the help america vote act came along. so there were some ramifications of just, um, in the air hearing this. >> yeah. i mean, ohio was discussed as a place that had a controversial new photo id law nationally. we didn't. >> right. >> nothing new on photo id in this election that -- nothing had changed from previous elections as it related to id. and where we had some people scratching their heads and asking some questions about -- was early voting. because early voting in ohio is done the same whether it's by mail or in person. you fill out the same five fields, and that's what you do.
10:08am
and we got inundated with calls, and i got e-mails and phone calls personally said, hey, the board of elections didn't ask me for my id, they're not doing their jobs. well, early voting you don't have to present any form of identification. that's only on election day. those, that's -- you write that down on -- and so there's just a lot of confusion about what the rules are. but if you look at the facts on voter turn in ohio, we had -- turn in ohio, we had a record early vote turnout by 1.8 million, about 100,000 more than in 2008. but our overall turnout when you added in election day was about 100,000 less. and so, you know, i don't -- it's not for lack of information when you're in ohio. it's a lack of good information that's the problem. >> so just, i just want to make sure i have this right, and i know it's your job to enforce the law, not to write it. but you don't need id if you
10:09am
vote early in person, but you do need id if you vote on election day in person? >> all the list of your photo id, you utility bill, whatever, you can use all those things, or you can when you're voting early, you write your name, your address the, your date of birth, your driver's license number, the last four digits of your social security number, or you could provide one of these 13 additional items and your signature. and they cross-check that against the database, and that's how it works in our state. >> one clarification. are you voting early at your courthouse or in different areas? >> it's your board of elections or the designated voting centers. >> okay. in west virginia we have early vote anything the courthouse. we also have what's called satellite, so you have it out there. so i'm trying to figure out how you guys do that. >> well -- >> how you cannot ask for id -- >> because you are using the driver's license number or the last four digits of your social security number and checking that. and before that envelope is
10:10am
opened, they connect that against the statewide voter database where your signature exists on electronic file and where all of that information exists on those two or the physical copy of it. and then that's the same thing if you vote by mail. again, you don't need to leave home to vote in ohio, we have an entire buffet of options for voting, and we have built-in safeguards for doing so. >> that discussion just got extremely technical. >> it did. sorry. >> but there's a point to be made, i think, from how technical that discussion was. who are the people who are going to be implementing an id requirement on election day? they are poll workers who work once or twice a year, get paid very little money, and it's tough. to be a poll worker. and it's tough with all these rules and the more technical they get, the more mistakes will be made.
10:11am
and i bond orer if there's -- i wonder if there's something that just cries out for simplicity in terms of id requirements. and maybe no id requirements, because it just adds another layer of complexity to the polling place process that maybe we don't need. >> well, i would -- simplicity would be great. but every time we supply some new access, it's accompanied by some new controversy. and i absolutely agree with everything that you say about poll workers, but let's take it a step further. it's also at our boards of elections. we have boards of elections, and i'm going to talk -- the federal government wants to do one thing that can help us, send us some more money to buy new machines, because our machines are old, our maintenance contracts are wearing out. this is all done at the local level. hava got us addicted to these new machines, and now our
10:12am
machines are getting old, and there's no federal dollars to replace them. and then, oh, by the way, budgets are being cut. it's going from the federal to the state to the local. and so we had, we just had an announcement, um, where the county that was cnn was at, said it could be the most important county in ohio, that their board just laid off a third of their work force. and now they may be able to come back and replace those folks with temporary workers down the road, but it's talent and training and all of those things that we continue to go on the cheap. we can't run a world class election system on the cheap. it's just not possible. you can't ask a system to do more and more and more and more, have fewer resources, older equipment and less-trained people. that's not going to work. and it's something that we have to embrace and have a discussion
10:13am
about rather than these shiny objects that people keep wanting to talk about that, you know, that are interesting and political pundits have an easy time talking about them because it is boring, and it is highly technical. but these are the things that matter when you're actually administering an election. >> let me follow up, and i think this follows on your point, something you mentioned in your presentation that i think for the first time your office sent out absentee ballot applications to every voter in ohio. what was the thinking behind that, and how was that experience? >> um, the thinking behind it was very simple, that we didn't want to have lines on election day, so the more people that vote early, the less chance that there were going to be lines on election day. i liken the election system to a highway. you have, you know, in the morning you're going to have traffic jam, in the evening you're going to have traffic jam, okay? if that's when everybody comes to vote. so you either build more lanes, or you build more highways x. for us we tried to expand people
10:14am
to vote during a longer period of time, vote from home. that creates, that lessens the chance for lines at the polling locations. standing in line in ohio was an option because you could have voted from home. you didn't need to come anywhere to vote. but even after all of that in that first morning from the times the polls opened until 9:00, there were lines in certain places because that's when people, that's when people wanted to vote. but we've been trying to push, we've been trying to push people to early vote in presidential elections especially because that's when there is a time, that he that's when you run the potential for long lines at the polls. and so you can get by with the number of locations and the equipment you have if you have more people voting early. >> does voting by mail give rise to a different balance between access and integrity? is there a different kind of id requirement? >> no. it's the same process voting by mail as it would be voting by
10:15am
person. but in the world of no good deed goes unpunished, there were people saying, well, thousand that everybody's getting an absentee ballot, then we're going to have more provisional ballots on election day. again, coming out of the category of just trying to find a problem where none exists. that was a problem where none exists because we ended up having fewer provisional ballots than we did four years earlier. >> what, what do you guys think -- let's go down the row -- what do can you guys think acceptable id ought to be? >> oh, what should acceptable id be. >> assuming you think any id is necessary. >> so to be a law professor and be very big picture without being specific, which is what we're good at. i think good id would be what a reasonable business person would accept as id in order to do business with somebody. if you actually, you know,
10:16am
wanted to conduct a business transaction with somebody but you wanted to make sure the person you were conducting that transaction with, um, was who they said they were, what would you require of them? um, and that's kind of the way i would look at it. what a reasonably prudent business person who wants to do business -- >> professor pitts, i'd like to do business with you. what would you like to see? >> well, that's the question i won't answer. [laughter] i don't know, a credit card? >> well, then you can't run for secretary of state. >> i mean, i can pull out a lot of things from my wallet, and would somebody accept that who wanted to do business? >> okay. >> with me? maybe a credit card is enough. a lot of people have credit cards. maybe an atm card. >> well, now that we've extracted an abstract level of generality, do you have one you'd accept? >> what i proposed in ohio, look, we have a -- i don't want to complicate things.
10:17am
we have a process that's in place that allows you to vote without a photo id by mail, or in person early. so we've taken care of the first 34 days. we're down to one now. we're down to election day. so what would be acceptable then? what i've said is that you could simplify it and use a photo id, whatever they can agree upon, or your name, address, date of birth, last four digits of your social security number and your signature. >> uh-huh. >> which would allow, which would prohibit, which would answer the question of suppression, disenfranchisement because everybody could vote under that scenario, and that would allow them o cast a ballot -- them to cast a ballot without worrying if they forgot their id, if they were a disabled korean war veteran that didn't have a driver's license. whatever example you want to use, that would allow everybody to cast a ballot without being denied the opportunity to do so. but again, i will come back and
10:18am
say that whatever you can get agreement on within your state the most important because it's the controversy that you don't want, and you need to have reasonable voices try to sort those issues out. >> well, what i presented with what we do, obviously, has worked because you are showing some form of identification whether you're registering in person to that county clerk, um, and showing where you -- who you are in person with your address. so that has been quite sufficient. as you can see, i think it's interesting, and i'm sure that john and i will talk offline about this because my question will become equal protection if you don't have to have a photo id in person but you do when you go on election day, that's going to -- >> you could have both. you could have either option. >> okay. um -- >> and what would the bush v. gore decision say about that, the equal -- >> i have a degree in equal
10:19am
protection. [laughter] >> well, the other -- >> after eight federal lawsuits. [laughter] >> when we talk about, when we talk about, you know, what other aspects, and i, i'm a type of person and you'll lack at some of the initiatives -- you'll look at some of the initiatives that we have and you'll look to find solutions. has this been a question in west virginia with the same thoughts that john has is, is a process that works that everybody agrees on. that's basically what he's saying. we think, i think that this process that we have in west virginia works. now, there will be some as my opponent countered, as there are others in the legislature that will counter, and you are going to see, um, various ideas come to play. and i have even said this, too, that, you know, i don't stand so strong and hard, but as long as someone is not disenfranchised, as long as there's not any cost to it or arbitrary barriers or
10:20am
unrealistic regulations put on it that then you can have these requirements. well, how do you get to that? i think that e-poll books might be an option with that, with keeping someone's identification or their photo identification within that that has been some thought that minnesota before their vote, recent constitutional amendment vote took place, um, i know that my friend ross miller, i just saw that he was considering this, too, and this is what i've been talking about in west virginia is i talk about some of our vendors, you know, can you offer me these electronic poll books that are going to be able to, um, store a photo or take a picture so that no one is disenfranchised, that someone doesn't have to go and pay even $5 for a photo id because you think, well, that's not a lot, $5 for a photo id, but it's the $10 in gasoline money to run here, and then it's the $10 more to run here to get the other id. and that's what we can't have.
10:21am
and so right now, you know, what i show is what is working in west virginia, and if there are questions, that's why it's a bigger picture. it's not just one, it's not a panacea. a photo id is going to solve all the problems. we have to play, you know, i'm a sports person. i've got to play zone defense on all of this, on every different aspect. and we just have to stay vigilant with whatever voting system we're using, whatever photo id requirement we have. >> that's a very interesting idea. what do you think about this? >> i didn't answer your question before, and i'm still not going to answer your question. >> oh, i had a follow up. >> when i want to say this -- >> i'll just volunteer you not to answer. >> you're asking the right question, i think -- [laughter] >> thank you, professor. [laughter] >> well, no, you're asking the right question from from a big picture perspective because i think a lot of the debate over photo id so far has been an on/off switch. are we going to have it, are we not going to have it? i think maybe the conversation will move in the next few years
10:22am
to a best practices scenario. what are the best id practices? for instance, indiana makes folks come back within ten days to show a photo id to validate their provisional ballot. florida, however, does a signature match with tear poll workers -- with their poll workers. what is the best way of achieving the best results? and i hope that maybe the conversation will move in that direction over the next few years rather than sort of this yes/no sort of tension that we've got. >> and to that point, not all photo id laws are created equal. there are some that are strict photo id laws and some that are called photo id law, but you don't really need a photo id to cast a boll ott under -- ballot under them. and a lot of that is i took, i heard a lot of this from people saying, well, look, the democrats in this state passed a photo id law, why won't we --
10:23am
it's not really a photo id law. it's sort of photo id light. and you really, the details matter in this about what it looks like before we get caught up. because you're right, photo id law, no photo id law, what does it really mean? >> but the question that you should be asking -- [laughter] we have a solution -- >> i thought i was writing the right question. and i promised the audience -- >> but the question you should be asking, too, is, okay, we have a solution to something, but do we have a problem with -- >> that was on my list, but i promised the audience -- >> statistics will say that, no, we don't have the problem for some solutions -- >> i think this was close to consensus that in-person voter fraud by impersonation may well be a problem that doesn't exist. but let's, let's let the audience have a chance to ask some questions. and there's some microphones if you wouldn't mind coming up. sure.
10:24am
>> there's a lot of debate but not a lot of facts -- >> i'm sorry to interrupt you, but we don't have a lot of time, so let's keep the questions nice and crisp. >> there's a lot of debate but not a lot of facts about the impact of voter id, but there is real impact about having a 29 registration day deadline. do we think technology and practices have changed enough that we can get rid of that 29-day deadline? because that duds stop a -- that does stop a lot of people from casting a ballot. [laughter] >> i mean, you're doing as good a job at getting answers as i was. [laughter] >> i agree. i mean, i want to talk to election administrators and how they're doing this because they do still have to deal with paper, but, i mean, i've thought at some point that a 30-day registration requirement is going to be declared unconstitutional. it's not going to happen tomorrow, but maybe 10 or 15 years from now it will be
10:25am
because we'll be able to do same-day registration for everybody everywhere. >> look, there -- we have same-day registration in ohio for five days of our early voting period. and there are examples of people who are registering, it's currently being investigated in cuyahoga county, addresses that are vacant homes, and they are actually registering there, and they're voting and having ballots counted. i think, i think that when you get into same-day registration voting, i can tell you in a swing state that is highly competitive that that is a place that you will run into fraud. we are already running into it. and it is a problem. >> west virginia's 21 days out. clerks will tell you that they need that amount of time. >> and we -- >> ongoing debate in west virginia. >> and i might add, we catch it because it's 35 days before the election. but if you do it on election day, then you've got a problem
10:26am
because then you're going to hold up the results as we're trying to collect and check against all of those issues because there are legitimate problems. maybe 30 days is too long, but i don't think you can do it on election day without some chance of being able to back up and take a look at those before election day. >> i'd love to split the difference with you. >> yes, sir. >> secretary husted, this question's for you. my name is jeremy bird, i was part of the -- [inaudible] in ohio. [laughter] >> finally a face. [laughter] >> yeah. and promising to put the referendum on the ballot. and i agree with you that the details are what matter on this, so i just have a question for you. why in your so-called balanced bill did you try to eliminate the 5 days that you now herald, and then why did you go so far as to try to end the last three days of early voting so far as to take it all the way to the supreme court? >> first of all, i don't herald the 35 days, that's what it is. i think that, i think that a period shorter than 30 days
10:27am
where you don't register and vote on the same day would be a good reform in ohio. i don't know that the difference between 28 and 35 days should cause anybody problems. i think my recommendation in that proposal was 28 days. that we would have early voting. the last three days was a bipartisan recommendation that came from a bipartisan group of elections officials that said if we're going to have all of this early voting where we're going to have millions of ballots in the process of being sent and returned, we need some time to make, to synchronize the voter rolls so that we know who voted and who didn't on election day. whether that needs to be three days or not, probably doesn't need to be that long, but that's what they ask for, and that's what the legislature voted for in their bill. and they voted unanimously on a bipartisan process. i just have to defend the laws that they pass. it's, you know, by the end of the elections process, you know, whatever.
10:28am
[laughter] i just want to run an election. you tell me what the rules are. let's not fight about the rules all the way up until the election. >> yes, sir. >> a lot of fighting all the way through the election in florida, by the way, also. question that i have for ohio and west virginia, do you have real id in your state? >> yes, in west virginia. we are one of the first states to start implementing that -- >> florida is a real id state also, and for those of you that don't have real id, that's going to be really fun particularly on your female voters when they get a driver's license. >> yes. >> you have to show up with your court records showing your name was change due to a marriage. >> yes. >> that's required under real id. men have no such issue. >> maybe same-sex issue will change -- >> what is the model law if we could arrive at that is a really complex law because florida has no match, no vote at the front end. you are not eligible to be registered unless through our voter registration database you match up with the department of
10:29am
corrections, you are not a felon, you watch up with the highway safety, you have a valid driver's license that matches, and we can corroborate the last four digits of your social security number. you pass that, you're allowed to be registered. and that's how florida allows for an individual that has no id to sign a provisional ballot and sign the signature because we're going to take that suggest back into the office and compare it to the database to confirm that this is the same signature of the person that we've cleared year, ten years ago. now we know you are, in fact, eligible. this is a whole sort of different model than depending upon the picture id on election day is checking before we put you on the rolls to confirm you are eligible to be a voter. then that, that should be part of the discussion as well, it seems to me. >> okay. thanks. >> eric marshall, my question's for secretary husted.
10:30am
has to do with uniformity. i think a lot of the conversation over the past few years focused on uniformity, and i agree with you on the premise of uniformity, but i think we disagree on what that definition actually is. you know, the problem that we saw was in this drive for uniformity, in the process black and white. one early vote location, uniform process of mailing absentee ballots resulted in ununiform access and ability to vote for certain voters. we know that in cuyahoga county, three-fourths of the voters in 2008 were cast by communities of color. the male vote were predominantly used by white voters, so eliminating the early person window but not maintaining the mail vote window had this impact on certain communities, excuse me, so that wasn't uniform. we know that the number of voters in an urban county are significantly higher -- >> i don't agree, i don't agree with your conclusions, first of all. you asked the question about uniformity. look, i just want to make sure that the rules are the same so
10:31am
that betty jones has the same access to the ballot as betty jones in another county in ohio. the access is not about a county, the it's about a voter. what us -- what access does that voter have? we set rules and laws so that every single voter was treated equally. just for those of you who don't know about how it used to work, the counties used to set their own days and hours, and some counties got out absentee t requests and some didn't, and what i said was everybody should be treated the same. every active, registered voter should receive an absentee ballot request. the days and hours in all counties should be the same so that that voter, that individual voter has the same access within every county. that eat what we had -- that's what we had, and i believe that is what we should have in any election system. >> but if the rules for a county of 5,000 differ for a county of
10:32am
900,000 when it come to early voting, those rules are different because the numbers of voters are drastically different -- >> and they have, and they have ample number of machines that they can use to accommodate that, or they can move to a new site that's even bigger that accommodates all of that. it is just as hard for a rural voter who lives a long way from their county seat and doesn't have access to public transportation whether they're in a small county or not to actually get there and cast the vote as it is for any voter in an urban who has public transportation and has an ample, and has a number of -- >> but their lines on election day are smaller on -- >> one more question. >> might actually be a good follow up to the question before. so my question is actually for mr. pitts. it's the second time we've heard from the states today that because voter id only impacts a minority of people, it's actually not something to be terribly concerned about. i think the only statistic we've
10:33am
seen on voter id today was that 7% of people name it as a factor in deterring them to vote, and i think we sort of went past it very quickly. so equating that it's a small number with it not being something to be concerned about when we know what the margin of elections is, this time someone won an election by far more than seven points. i'm just interested in hearing your perspective on small versus important. i got to interview people if dmvs in pennsylvania about the experience they were having and testified in the case. um, the stories are harrowing of people who didn't wear their colostomy bag for a day because they didn't want to have to use it, of people who got sent in wheelchairs to three different locations because the people in each place didn't know where they were going. veterans who showed up with their ids, they were disabled and waited for ten hours. people with misspellings of their names who waited with their child for two or three hours -- >> let's give professor pitts a chance -- >> so i'm asking about
10:34am
implementation. small versus important, the second that that even if we believe these laws are correct and we should have them, can we implement them in a way that is fair? >> i'll take your first one. i think you can look at the numbers that are generated from the primary elections, and i've got numbers from 2008 general that show about a thousand folks not being able to cast accountable ballots because they had lacked id. i think you can look at those numbers, and you can say that against the amount of in-person voter fraud means that we shouldn't have id laws. so i don't necessarily think that those numbers prove the point that, you know, id laws don't matter. they do matter to individuals, that's for sure. >> thank you and, please, join me in thanking this really terrific panel. [applause] >> and a live picture from the brookings institution this morning. the brookings institution hosting a discussion on continuing clashes between supporters and opponents of
10:35am
egyptian president mohamed morsi. as that country holds a national referendum on a draft constitution. opponents of president morsi say the referendum expands his powers and that of the muslim brotherhood and could restrict civil liberties and women's rights. speakers today will include a former obama administration state department official and a former adviser to the palestinians in their negotiation with israel. it looks like they're about ready to start. live coverage here on c-span2. >> ladies and gentlemen, good morning. thank you so much for coming on a rainy monday morning. can everyone hear me? is this microphone working? in the back?
10:36am
good. okay. well, welcome to this saban center for middle east policy at the brookings institution. we're here on the monday morning after egyptians began -- although they haven't finished -- voting on whether or not to approve the draft constitution produced by the constituent assembly over the last, over the last several months. we're going to talk today about how that constitution was drafted, about what its content says, but what i hope we'll be able to focus on in our discussion is not only how we got here, but what it means for the future. if we've learned anything over the last two years of watching egypt undergo this roller coaster ride of a political transition, we've learned that
10:37am
it's not going to be a smooth trajectory. and so it's crucial to look at each of these turning points including this constitutional referendum not merely as some sort of milestone on a path, but as something that is going to shape a competition over egypt's future and over the shape of the state and the control of the state, a competition that's going to be going on for some time to come. i'm delighted that we have two fantastic experts with us to help parse the meaning of these developments. we're joined from doha by our colleague, shadi i hamid, and here in washington by khaled elgindy. you have their boy graphical information in the packet you received when you walked in. these two gentlemen have been following egypt's politics very,
10:38am
very closely from well before the revolution, and you can also find a number of their recent writings on the brookings web site. we've got a special page on egypt set up on the brookings web site that collects all of our recent commentary. let me start by just giving you a little bit of a sense of where we stand today with respect to the constitutional retch dull. referendum. the outcome, of course, is still undetermined because only part of the country voted on saturday. the other governors will vote next saturday. what we know, turnout seems to have been relatively light, maybe as low as 30 or 35%. the results that have been released so far indicate that slightly over half of those voting support or approve the constitution, the draft constitution.
10:39am
56.5% according to the figures i saw this morning. i have to note that this includes the voting on saturday included the largest urban centers in egypt, cairo and alexandria. the voting next saturday will include more of the rural areas of the country, and in the prevote handicapping it was expected that you, that we would see a higher negative vote, a higher no vote in the urban areas where the political opposition is more mobilized and a higher yes vote on the referendum in rural areas where the brotherhood, it's been demonstrated over the last couple of years, has been able to turn out more of its own supporters. now, there's been a lot of focus on how this constitution was drafted and how we got to this referendum. i think the events of the last month show clearly that at least those egyptians who are eagerly
10:40am
participating in their country's politics are very divided, very divided on basic political issues. it's also clear that neither the freedom and justice party, the muslim brotherhood's party, nor the political opposition feel the need at this point to seek compromise in the face of that polarization. rather, as one observer noted to me last week, both sides seen -- seem with this referendum to be going for broke. i think what i'd like to open with in this conversation is what the events of the last month or so represent, what they mean for egypt's future. i'm going to ask our two experts a series of questions, have a bit of conversation up here on the dais and then open it up to all of you. and khaled, if i may start with
10:41am
you, i think a lot of as i watch the controversy that's erupted in egypt over the last month, a lot of it has been about the process. >> right. >> almost more than the substance of this constitution. not only the process of drafting the constitution, who is in the constituent assembly, who walked out, whether it was rushed, etc., but how, how that process delineates the divisions in egyptian politics today. can you talk a little bit about what upset people so much, why this process was so controversial and what it says about those divisions inside egypt? >> in terms of the substance? >> in terms of the process and the substance. >> well, on the substance there were, there's some real division. there is, of course, a debate about the role of religion in the second republic, in the postrevolutionary egyptian state. and there were some new elements introduced that hadn't existed
10:42am
in previous constitutions. there was a larger role carved out for religion with a number of articles in the constitution that, um, had been controversial not so much for what they did, but inso much as i think more than as much as they were in what they allowed for. so you had, for example, article ii was the standard iteration of the role of sharia in the, the principles of sharia in defining legislation. so you also had article iv which allowed for a role of the university for the first time which is an unelected body, a religious body that issues religious opinion. and so it was, this role was very vague, but it was enshrined in the constitution. you also had probably the most controversial is article 219 which attempted to define what principles of sharia actually
10:43am
meant. and in doing so, i think it was the wording, of course, is very vague, and i would say it doesn't open, it doesn't create a religious state, but with it opens the door to a religious state that could be enacted through future legislation. so there was the controversy on the role of religion. there were also controversies on the role of the military. the military, by and large, kept its status as being above the law, beyond the reach of the state, not a transparent institution and certainly not subject to civilian rule or oversight. that was a key, i think, point of grievance for a lot of liberals and especially for the revolutionary groups in egypt which saw the military, of course, playing a very insidious role throughout the transition and as well as in propping up past regimes. the rights environment, i think you could argue was, you know,
10:44am
could go both ways. there were, there was new language added about on discrimination about protection of minorities, equality, but there were a lot of caveats like as prescribed by law that were kind of these catch alls that, again, open the door to future abuse or limit on citizenship, on citizen rights. >> so rights were articulated but not guaranteed? >> articulated but not guaranteed and, actually, open to constraint and to limitation through future legislation. overall, the system deny change dramatically. you still had a very highly-centralized form of government, still very, very presidential, although it is theoretically a mixed system. it still leaves most of the power in the president's hands. and so in terms of the structure
10:45am
of government institutions and checks and balances, there hasn't been a whole lot new introduced. in terms of the process, i think this is where, where it has, it has taken a bad situation, ordinary controversies, what might have been considered ordinary controversies, and can actually made the situation much worse because at each stage the process was fundamentally flawed and only became more so over time. we can get into details, but i don't want to dominate the -- >> okay. so if i understand you correctly, you're saying a lot of these controversial issues in the draft constitution were inevitable controversies, but the way in which they were ultimately decided made them bigger controversies than even they would have been. >> made them bigger. and i don't want to downplay the significance of these controversies. obviously, you know, for a lot of the revolutionary groups enshrining a role of, you know, having the military immunity
10:46am
enshrined in the constitution is very problematic, and it's very problematic from a democratic and rule of law standpoint. so i don't want to down play the significance of these at all, but the substance might have come differently had the process been different. >> okay. um, let me, let me take ha insight and turn -- that insight and turn to shadi at the brookings doha center and ask you, shadi given the way this process has unfolded and the polarization that's resulted which you wrote about in a recent piece that the polarization around the constitution actually reflected, in your view, some broader divisions in egyptian society. the next step in this competition, be you will, within the egyptian pollty is going to be parliamentary elections which, as i understand it, are supposed to take place just a couple of months after the
10:47am
constitution is approved assuming that it is, ultimately, approved. what, what can you tell us based on what we've seen over the last couple of months about how the competition for parliamentary elections is likely to shape up. >> sure. thanks, tammy. um, so, yes. in theory there are supposed to be parliamentary elections within two months. i think the big question here is are liberals and non-islamists going to be brought back into the democratic process, or are there still going to be elements that say the whole process is flawed, rigged, illegitimate, and they start to withdraw? and there was this debate, um, in the lead-up to the referendum where you had parts of the opposition saying boycott because they don't want to grant legitimacy to the process in the first place, and others saying, well, let's try to get our voices heard and limit the mar vin of victory. so we may have a similar debate
10:48am
for the parliamentary election. but i think at the end of the day the major liberal parties are going to participate. i think in some sense the results that we saw yesterday, 56% yes, should actually embolden the liberal opposition. the prediction at least from the islamist side were significantly higher, so they're seeing this as a low margin, and they're concerned about that. um, so with that in mind, if they can get 44%, that shows that they're able to translate some of the mass protests we saw last week into some electoral mobilization. now, i think it's easier to get people to vote no, one word, than to decide to vote for witch liberal party or which leftist party. because we have to remember the opposition itself is very divided. and the three leaders of the opposition right now are people who have very little in common. we have, um, a neo--
10:49am
[inaudible] socialist, we have one who doesn't really have an ideology, but we can maybe call him -- [inaudible] then we have mohamed elbaradei who is a liberal's liberal. they don't agree on a lot except their opposition to the muslim brotherhood. so i'm skeptical they're going to be able to have a unified front in the parliamentary elections, and that's a big problem because that's going to hurt liberals and leftists as a whole in a pr system where if you divide the vote too much, then that depresses your representation. and, again, you know, there still is this concern about, um, their ability to mobilize as you point out, tammy, outside of the major cities. they haven't really been able to prove that on a district-by-district level. in contrast, the salafis have that presence in every district. they have their people who are
10:50am
mobilizing the vote and getting their supporters out. so i think t going to be challenging -- it's going to be challenging, but at the very least liberals and leftists should be able to improve upon their result last year. they only got about 20% in the previous 2011-2012 elections. so, um, 20%, they can improve on that. and i think that -- but the question is, are, um, i think liberals and non-islamists in egypt have a tendency to miss opportunities and to, um, and to not build on their successes. so there's a real question of whether or not they're going to be able to sustain momentum over the next two months and really get their act together organizationally speaking. >> thanks, shadi. you know, you talked a rot about the competition -- a lot about the competition between liberals although as you note, therest a lot of differentiation between
10:51am
what we're calling the liberal camp or the opposition camp and the brotherhood. but there was also both in the last set of elections and in the constitutional debates competition within what we might call the islamist camp between the brotherhood and islamist groups further to the right, salafi groups. i wonder, khaled, if you can talk about what we see in the constitution. what does this show us about what the salafis got what they were asking for and where the brotherhood got what it was asking for in that competition. >> yeah. i think a lot of the process has been dictated by this dynamic, this intra-islamist dynamic, particularly the muslim brotherhood's almost obsessive fear or concerns about the, about the salafis who are, obviously, much more conservative but are competing for the same core constituency, at least as they view them. and so that has tended to push
10:52am
the brotherhood further and further to the right in terms of their decision making. um, and that also has to do with the fact that the brotherhood just is generally dismiss i have of -- dismiss iive of the liberl non-islamist opposition. so they see the great political threat to their political base coming from the salafis. and so we see the introduction of things like article 219 which was a nod to the salafis but without giving them the, as much as they would have wanted. and there were even some concerns that the salafis might actually vote no because they didn't see enough religion or sharia in this constitution. of course, i, i don't know for certain, i doubt that that's the case. i think, i think the both salafi party and the muslim brotherhood have defined this referendum in very stark religious terms. that has what they've used,
10:53am
that's what they've used to mobilize this vote. they've even resorted to sectarian tactics. so, um, for the islamists it's very clearly pro-sharia, anti-sharia, pro-islam, anti-islam. this is the way that the battle has been couched or framed in the egyptian, in the political environment in egypt. >> of course, it's easy to do that with a institution -- with a constitution where you're voting yes or no. that competition within the islamist camp might open up, and it's a question of who can claim most credibly to represent the true vision of islamism or of an islamic state. shadi, what do you expect? there were some people that argued that the brotherhood gave the salties -- salafis too much
10:54am
in the constitution because they wanted to scoop up some of their vote in the parliamentary election. what do you expect to see in the competition in the parliamentary race? >> yeah. well, it's worth noting in the constitutional debate the brotherhood felt sandwiched. um, and the salafis were putting a lot of pressure on the brotherhood from the right, as khaled pointed out, and it was actually just until fairly recently the salafis were threatening to withdraw, either withdraw -- sorry, to vote no for the constitution because they felt it wasn't sufficiently islamic. so some of them wanted to have article 2 to be more explicit and be about the rulings of sharia instead of the principles. so what i would actually argue is that this constitution, for all its faults, is a compromise between the liberal vision of the constitution and the salafi vision. it's somewhere in the middle. and that makes sense because the brotherhood members were the median voters in the constituent assembly.
10:55am
and this shows how the presence of salafis drives the whole political spectrum to the right. and i do think there are real deep divides here in the sense that how do you split the middle between a liberal vision and a salafi vision? they're obviously very far apart, and liberals by definition believe in a set of rights and freedoms that are nonnegotiable. so it becomes difficult to see how you come up with a resolution that pleases both sides. and i think that's going to be a general problem that we're going to keep on seeing, keep on seeing come up in some of these controversial ideological debates. now, in terms of, um, the brotherhood/salafi relationship and how that's working out, even though they worked together and are increasingly working together, the brotherhood looks at salafis like little brothers who, you know, um, who cause trouble and sometimes you've got to keep them in line, they've got to have their timeout.
10:56am
they have this kind of paternal listic tone. and i've always noticed that in private conversations with brotherhood members and leader, this really comes through. there's a sense that these salafis, where did they come from? they just started politics last year. we've been doing politics for 80 years. so that's, there's definitely that part of it. now, salafis are also don't like being treated in that kind of way. they want to be treated with respect, obviously, so they kind of -- so they have their own issues with the brotherhood. and one example of in the was after last year's parliamentary elections, i remember i was in egypt at the time, and they were having negotiations between different factions. and salafis and liberals were actually having negotiations about possibly forming an anti-brotherhood coalition in the parliament. that's how the salafis were so afraid of being dominated by the brotherhood and not having their voice heard, that they actually thought about, um, joining hands
10:57am
with their liberal p enemies. so there is this kind of undercurrent of distrust. now, i think one of the important things about the crisis of the past month since morsi's decree is that it's polarized egypt most strictly along islamist/non-islamist lines. so now it's going to be much more difficult to peel the brotherhood off from the salafis. they're kind of intertwined with each other now more than ever. um, and they have, they weren't talking about a potential electoral alliance as recently as october. those negotiations went on for some time, they stalled, but there is some interest on both sides to explore that. the brotherhood, though, i would -- is probably going to wait to see, and they've actually -- one of the brotherhood leaders said recently, actually on december 4th, that they're still open to having an alliance with liberals and leftists, that they want to reach out. so we're still hearing that kind
10:58am
of rhetoric. i think the game plan this from their standpoint is ask the liberals to join with them, and if the liberals say no as they almost certainly will, they can say, well, we tried, we gave it our best shot, i guess we're going to have to stick with the salafis now. >> you know, i think this raises an interesting choice that the brotherhood faces. let's assume for a moment that the results that we saw from saturday's voting hold in next saturday's voting so that we see the constitution approved by a somewhat slimmer-than-expected perhaps margin. so the brotherhood faces a choice. do they say, well, victory is victory. the constitution we favored passed, and this -- that's a mandate for us to go forward along the lines that we've been moving along despite all these protests in the street, or do they say, wow, this suggests that there is some deeper opposition to the vision we've
10:59am
been putting forward and the program we've been putting forward, and we need to reach out. i'd like to ask each of you what do you expect their choice might be, and how do you think they ought to think about it? assuming that, like all political parties, they want to stay in power. khaled? >> well, i would expect, you know, the brotherhood is a majoritarian party. they are probably, they believe in majoritarianism in its purest form. a 50% plus 1 victory is a victory whether it's the constitution, a founding document or a piece of legislation. i don't think, i don't think they have yet at least in terms of their actions don't seem to reflect the nuance that goes into consensus building and that sort of a thing. and as far as their preference or stated preferences in the
11:00am
present or in the past for coalition with liberals, my own view is that train has left the station. i think there is so much bad blood now between non-islamists and the brotherhood that that's probably not in the offing in the short term. and i think we'll probably see more and more collaboration between the brotherhood and salafis, and that has been the trend. it has been this polarizing trend. there have been a number of groups, revolutionary groups and liberal groups, that endorsed morsi for president against finish. [inaudible] who they saw as someone who they say represented the old regime and desperately did not want to bring tabak. and they feel extremely betrayed by the brotherhood's decisions and by president morsi's decisions, and i very much doubt they'd be willing to go down that road, again, already having been severely burned over the course of the last month.
11:01am
>> so for that group of people, that referendum is a referendum on the brotherhood, not just the constitution? >> i think so. i think over all the -- overall the vote i was not just a vote on the referendum. people didn't have time to read it, there's 230-some articles, and, you know, you're talking about a very accelerated process. so it was really about the polarization. it's about how you felt about where the transition was headed and where, whether you support president morsi or you opposed him. ..
11:02am
>> part of the problem with this transition is that it's essentially been again with no rules. and a game with no rules in which the winner of the game gets to make all the rules. so that has been, that is made for very kind of winner take all, zero-sum kind of a political environment. which i suppose is okay. at a certain point down the road when you've got politics and there are winners and losers. but to treat the constitution and the defining of the state as a winner take all process i think is fundamentally and deeply flawed. and probably more instability
11:03am
down the road. more polarization and more instability. spent okay. shadi, there was an article i think on friday in which unnamed u.s. officials were suggesting that morsi might've learned from the last couple of weeks that winner take all is not the way to go and that he needs to reach out to his political opponents. do you think that the brotherhood understands this referendum as in part a referendum on the way it's running politics in egypt? >> to some extent, yes. but i think there's a bigger problem here. the brotherhood is a full access to some of the they are extremely paranoid. they believe the opposition is out to destroy them. they think liberals are anti-democratic and out to bring down who they view to be elected and legitimate elected president. so they're very much in that
11:04am
mode of thinking. and that's what essentially one of their justifications for the authoritarian november 22 decree is, rather leaders told me this is yes, we know it looks bad, we know it's kind of anti-democratic, but the no rules of politics are suspended until future notice because we are in this fundamental turning point. and this is what we have to do. sorry if people don't like it. i hope that they move beyond that stage. i'm not convinced that they are. and as khaled said, it's so polarized right now, especially with blood spilled, which we saw to ask you outside the presidential palace. when he started claiming martyrs you get to a point where the wounds are still too fresh. so i think that morsi and the brotherhood will lease rhetorically say opposition, please come, but sit down and talk. as morsi did last week and the
11:05am
so-called national dialogue. the problem is liberals are not going to trust him. they're not going to believe that he's negotiating in good faith. unless he can somehow convince them. i don't really know what that would look like but that's the real challenge here. so for that reason i wouldn't be very optimistic. now, the positive spin though is at some point they're going to have to sit down together, because the opposition doesn't have a lot of options. they can keep on trying mass protests every tuesday. that's not a long series of strategy. the question is what they do afterwards? either you decide to work within the system, however flawed it is, or you withdraw from the system and then you say morsi is illegitimate, the constitution is illegitimate. then you get into a kind of revolutionary situation which can be very dangerous. i hope the former is what happens, and i think that would be the smartest approach.
11:06am
i don't know if the revolutionary option is realistic, ma feasible, or is likely to succeed. >> thank you. before you open it up to the audience, there's one other issue that i think is really striking about this constitutional test that khaled referred to. i want to delve into a little more detail, which is the role that's been established for -- this is unprecedented in the egyptian history. and in terms of setting precedents for these new arab qualities, and environment to the arab awakening, it's grading a role for a nongovernmental religious institution, which granted, has been a preeminent source of islamist scholarship for generations. but it's playing a role in reviewing legislation, not approve the legislation, but having some unofficial input. as you noted, it is vague.
11:07am
i wanted to ask you both, how is this provision used by the egyptians who supported and opposed to? number one. an effort to, what does this say about the future of religious institutions in anaheim of political competition? should we now expect that he will become a forum for competition between different versions of islamism? i think there've been a number of reports of the last week about the warning by king abdullah of jordan about an alliance of extremism emerging across the region. and there are those who make the argument that next battle over religion and politics in the middle east will be fought in institutions, not in constitution. todd leduc to each of your thoughts on that. shadi, do you want to start? >> yeah, sure. so pretty much the way this might look, part of the problem is this article is how it's that
11:08am
it's vain and it can be interpreted. parliament decide to operationalize in different ways. i think loki can expect its members of parliament essentially set controversial laws that have religion content. two of -- advisory opinion. the opinion welcome back to to it will be nonbinding. but the brotherhood will use that come are going to use that advisory opinion to build support, or to oppose a given law. and to be difficult i think for salafi and the brotherhood, to say no to the most -- [inaudible] in the middle east. so i think yes, it's not binding but it does kind of push the discourse in parliament and a more religious direction. and that's the ground that sal if he likes playing on.
11:09am
they like it to be but different religious views. because it's hard to be more solidly than the softies. and that's what they are banking for. so i think that is the real worry, the real concern here, but to be honest i think article ii opens you up to that and that's part of the argument of why you need this clause. if you're saying we're going to take article too seriously and that the principles of sharia should be the main source of legislation, who interprets the sharia? so then it follows that some of the religious body lies a role. >> yeah, i think, i think it's problematic on a number of levels. i think, you know, shadi referred to them playing a role on deciding on controversial religious conduct. what constitutes religious content?
11:10am
i think, you know, the nature of television programs and the kind of as for example, the people see, or the nature of certain kinds of speech, these are very, for salafi certainly would all fall under religious content but everything. eventually falls under religious content. so it's impossible to know where those lines would be drawn, and the discourse is being dictated in a sense by or driven by the most conservative elements in the discourse, the salafi, the we are more likely to see more and more conservative types of -- overtime. so like i said before, the article itself doesn't necessarily create the religious state but it certainly opens the door, depending on the political dynamics, the nature of a future parliament, the balance between
11:11am
non-islamists and islamists and so forth. and the second thing is we are likely to see a competiticompetiti on over the very institution that is playing this role. and that obviously, the brotherhood and salafi's clearly have an advantage and that is farsighted liberal groups don't have done is the one place whether at a distinctive disadvantage. it's within a religious institution like this. there are obviously, there is a tradition for its origin and a number of affiliated with al-azhar have been among, the forefront of the revolution. so the our revolutionary elements as it were. but over time i think of the brotherhood and the salafis which he al-azhar as another pot a two between them, it would be too tempting for them not to. so i think those are two real
11:12am
dangers that we face in the future. >> now, under mubarak ahead of al-azhar was appointed by the president, is that right? is there going to continue to be the case in this constitution? >> well, i don't think it is spelled out but i think that, there's draft legislation that is being considered or was being considered on al-azhar. shadi will correct me if i'm mistaken but i think the brotherhood like to see direct election of the al-azhar, and i'm not? that's one thing that the brotherhood does better than anyone else. retail politics and elections. is that the case, shadi? >> yeah. so the brotherhood official position before the revolution, and i believe is also the case in the site's accord ones, is moving away from that system where you have active government
11:13am
intervention, and al-azhar actually have a supreme body, elected by the general assembly of al-azhar. so it would be kind of within the al-azhar institution itself. and again, the brotherhood likes election. part of the problem though is the brotherhood has flip-flopped on a lot of the positions it had when it was in the other position to be used to be for a ceremonial president. it used to be for a week executive with a strong local government and regional government. now it's really shifted. so just because the brotherhood supported something before doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be consistent. and i guess that's politics. but it is striking to see how they have shifted, especially on the presidential issue, for example,. >> okay, thanks to much. i'm going to open it up to our audience. we, of course, spent most of our conversation up here talking
11:14am
about actors in egypt, was going on in egypt, a competition between the actors. one issue we haven't touched on is role of the outsiders including attorney. so i welcome any questions on that. let me just ask you, please, two things. if you want to raise your hand. number one is identify yourself, please. and number two is out of respect for everybody else who wants to engage in our conversation, please keep it brief and keep it a question. a question, that's one. why don't we start right there? >> thank you. my name is edward joseph, i'm with the johns hopkins. great to be here today. great discussion but, in fact, i'd like to invoke further on the comment that shadi made about the legitimacy of the document. we were talking at a referendum on the constitution. the constitution is the
11:15am
foundation for egypt's democracy. and if i could, shadi, ascii and khaled, to probe further, assuming of course this will pass which it is very likely to happen. do you believe that fundamentally egyptians across the spectrum will accept this constitution as legitimate? even if they decide to participate in parliamentary elections, which shadi raise, they would not do even if they decided. will they look, yes, this is our constitution. i may not like it, but i accept. just around the question now, is there a sense at all among liberals that, hey, we were the ones fighting this revolution. you guys were johnny-come-lately. we were the ones who were there from the beginning and since it's our revolution, -- [inaudible] >> thank you.
11:16am
there are a couple of issues embedded in the. one is with low turnout and the narrow margin is a legitimate constitution. and the other is, will those who end up in parliament take this constitution as given, or are we immediately going to see efforts to amend it quits as i stood as part of the question as well. khaled, do you want to start? >> ya. i happen to believe this is a constitution will probably pass. but it will be a very, very weak legitimacy. i think all of the problems that were so over the last month, the controversy, the violence, the bad blood, the polarization, a delegitimizing of one side or the other, it is being built into the system, this instability is being built into the system. and so i think, and we saw it on election day. the rushed nature of the vote. and lots of a regular is, not necessary out of a desire to rig the vote but they simply because there were not enough judges to
11:17am
cover polling stations. judges were covering more than three times the number of voters they typically cover her ballot box. so that's why you had such huge lines. so there are a lot of irregularities, a lot of violations, both real and perceived. and i think it certainly casts doubt, you know, question the very legitimacy of this, of this document. and at the end of the day, as tamara said, it was passed by, assuming the margin stays relatively similar, but the turnout was very, very low. it was around 34%. so we're talking about a document that a third of egyptians voted on. almost half of whom said no. and that's a very questionable document in terms of its legitimacy. that i think that will be
11:18am
reflected. i would expect there will be opposition participation in future elections, even if they consider it legitimate. the decision that they made not to boycott, even though they saw the process as illegitimate, is emblematic of this. you know, you can have the seemingly controversial decisions. you can participate, you know, the brotherhood and other politician groups during the mubarak area participated in a political process that they by and large deemed to be illegitimate. but they participated anyway. so i would expect we will see more of that. the participation of opposition is independent of the use of the legitimacy of the process and the constitution. >> shadi, anything to add? >> so, part of the problem is yes, they will likely to see the constitution as illegitimate, but there isn't a whole lot they can do after it passes. part of the buying the opposition is in is that i
11:19am
actually participating somewhat enthusiastically after kind of hedging a little bit is that it's difficult for them not to come and say, well, we got close, we lost, but we don't recognize these results. the only way they can really make that argument is if they withdraw them after they may have some basis for that. they cited a regularities, violation. so if they withdrew now, that argument would be stronger. but if they stay and participate in round two, then i think it will be that argument is not going to be as effective with egyptian people. now, they can try to amend it but the problem is they are never going to, i mean, for the foreseeable future liberals and leftists and non-islamists are not going have a super majority and the egyptian parliament. so that's not a viable option. one possible scenario, a vice president to actually suggested this, the other week is that after the constitution was passed they could then have a
11:20am
kind of sidelined negotiations on the contentious articles. and kind of do it in that way. so i guess there's really maybe four to six really contentious articles that people have issues with to sit down and try to iron that out, give the opposition on board. i'm skeptical but that's perhaps another option. and lastly, i would just say on the questioner on the issue of legitimacy, revolutionary agenda missy. i think it's worth noting that the original revolutionary on january 25 were not necessarily liberals. they were revolutionaries, many of them were leftists, socialists. the liberal party didn't actually join in to win the brotherhood did. and the liberal parties were not very well respected anyway. so i think in that sent some of the people we're talking about here at people claims to legitimacy. the brotherhood to join the protest fairly early on, janua
11:21am
january 28. spent okay, thanks. a bunch of questions out there in the front. let's start with jarret mitche mitchell. >> thanks very much. i write the mitchell report. >> i'm not sure people can hear you. >> you want to check the mic? >> there we go. >> anyway, i want to interrupt this graduate school seminar on egyptian government that asks a question, and that is, can you give us some point in this discussion kind of an overview civics 101 overview of what kind of government is at that has been created? how isn't like the united states and how is it different than the united states? some sense of what this animal
11:22am
looks like and what some of its powers are. >> well, it's like the united states and that the parliament is comprised of two houses called the house of representatives and the senate. in a new constitution, but that's the extent of the similarities. it is much more like the old egyptian system where you have extremely powerful presidency. there are probably more checks, potential checks at least from the parliament, to play a bigger role but it is not a parliamentary form of government. it is technically a mixed form, presidential and parliamentary, but it's a president who determines, who appoints the prime minister. the prime minister is still at the disposal of the president,
11:23am
just as under mubarak, and even though he may come from the majority party in the parliament. so, there isn't really a balance between the prime minister and the president because the prime minister is a function of the president. he is carrying out the will of the president. >> okay. they want to say anything about the rule of the judiciary since that was one of the other major controversies in drafting this? >> i think the role of the judiciary was largely kept intact, but the brotherhood i think also envisioned major overhaul of the judiciary. and so they were likely i think you see less judicial review than, well, it depends because the judiciary itself is divided over this constitution and over the process, and hasn't, they are not necessary speaking with one voice.
11:24am
but i think the judiciary as sort of bring the judiciary under control has been a goal of the brotherhood for a long time, and i think we are likely to see that in future legislation. traditionally, the judiciary hasn't played a major role in challenging the executive, and i think we will continue to see a very concerted judiciary in that sense. >> thank you. professor? >> i would like to ask a direct question about -- >> i'm sorry. >> i'd like to ask a direct question. when the current stalemate continue, and if it will continue, how much egypt can
11:25am
afford instability in terms of the supply the egyptian could have? i'm afraid, as i have voiced many years ago, that i'm afraid that there will be a solution of the hungry like the french revolution. so any stability is a very -- [inaudible], the lack of resources egypt has has declined. i don't have to go down the list of all of the things that have happened as a result of the inability. but there is a very serious out, whether or not -- [inaudible] >> thank you. for those of you who are unfortunately beset by the leaf blower in the courtyard, the question was about the impacts
11:26am
of ongoing instability and a confrontation in the political system having access or data to a very difficult socioeconomic situation. one of the things that we saw over the last couple of weeks was egypt was on the point of getting a loan from the imf of nearly $5 billion, which would've been a significant vote of confidence in the egyptian economy, help to stabilize the economy. because of the crisis, that has now been pushed off yet again. and so, how do we expect the political confrontation impasse on the economy? the stockmarket also took and -- took a nosedive. shadi, you want to start? >> yeah, sure. well, and so, i think the imf loan is still going to happen. the question is when.
11:27am
i think there is a realization that egypt is too big to fail. though the obama administration does have a political vision for egypt and isn't interested in its engaging on that level. that is really the obama administration policy as far as i can tell. so i think the international kennard is still committed to seeing that through. the question is how is more they going to handle the? we just saw the recent situation where he raised taxes, then his own party criticized him, and then, and others criticized him, and then you see him pulling back. part of the problem is that too would be able to engage in these economic reforms you need to some degree of societal outreach and consensus. and, unfortunately, morsi has not shown a strong suit for that. and we're also talking about a presidential office that is very understaffed. they are over their heads. they are learning on the job. so they are, also this issue of
11:28am
incompetence which is why i think going forward, morsi is going to have to rely more on the brotherhood. because they i should do have some of the expertise, some of the business acumen to be able to work on these controversial economic issues, and to also build support on the streets for some of the economic initiatives. i think it's worth noting that up until november 22, mohammed morsi was still consulting with the brotherhood, and the brotherhood leaders. that there was an effort to be somewhat independent and somewhat autonomous. there was a self-conscious effort to have some distance between the two. but that distance is closing because morsi needs to brotherhood now more than ever. i think that's going to be one of the fortunate byproducts. mib fortunate in some ways in terms of being a little more effective on the economy, but in terms of the societal consensus in reaching out, this is close
11:29am
at 20 with a brotherhood may not be helpful. >> there's an interesting possibility, in other words, that economic issues might force clinical come from i spy the leadership in ways that political controversies are not. but you are saying impact is what we're seeing is the president reaching out to his own party to deliver people for him, rather than reaching out to his opposition. khaled, anything you want to add? >> i agree with shadi. i they will be hard for the president to reach out beyond his own party because he, he began by reaching out and addressing his own party. so communist, he's going to need to go beyond his own basic constituency which is a much, especially in the liberal and left, to the left side. very much opposed to neoliberal policies on economics and the kind of austerity measures that are going to be necessary and
11:30am
that the imf is requiring. so these are going to be hugely unpopular. and i don't know how you do that without some high-end from your own political opponents, and i think one of the major blunders i think of course in the brotherhood is to burn a century all their political bridges with the non-islamist opposition. they will definitely need. i do see more instability coming, and i've heard the prediction of the prospect of revolution of the hungry, has been brought up by more than one person and i think is a major concern. i just don't see how he can overcome it without becoming necessarily more authoritarian, because he can't reach across the aisle. because people won't take a stand because they won't trust them. i think to be a more and more reliance on the brotherhood as shadi said come and that necessary i think becoming more and more authoritarian. and probably in order to quell
11:31am
discontent, we may even see more and more repression. >> if i could just jump in. >> shadi, you want to add something? >> yeah, i disagree a little bit with khaled's pessimistic take. i guess what off all a bit of a different view. >> that's good. we need some optimism here, i think. >> i mean, here's the thing. you're going to have no parliament. you going to have a parliament, you're going to have -- part of the recent the polarization got so bad was the judiciary. the fear of the judiciary intervening in politics. and i think once judiciary is able to take a step back, was a thing will eventually, and once you see an elected parliament with parties that are playing a more active role, i think that
11:32am
egypt's political light is going to become a little bit, at least a little bit richer. i know, you know, people can talk about -- all they want, yet their major authoritarian instincts on the part of morsi, but there is still going to be an elected parliament. so it's not going to be a full dictatorship as some people here. so i think it's important to keep things in perspective a little bit sticks to the parliament may bring hope for tourism. yes, please. >> what percentage of the electorate was able to vote last saturday as opposed to this coming saturday? is it 50/50 roughly? >> okay, and they could quick question. can you hand the mic behind you? >> i want to go on tomorrow,
11:33am
alluding, the u.s. policy towards egypt. shadi, you mentioned obama doesn't seem to have much of a political vision for egypt. do either of you believe that the way that obama is handling this is the correct way? been silent about the politics of it publicly. i don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but i mean, how do you see, how can the u.s. influence this transition towards a more inclusive, toward something supporting democratic development. >> okay, great. first, factual question about what proportion of egyptians actually women to vote on saturday, versus this coming week. and the u.s. policy. >> i mean, i don't know the exact numbers. my guess would be more than half of the cabinet vote that is probably more than half.
11:34am
they include two of the most -- alexandria and cairo the bible have exact numbers. shadi, do you? >> i don't. >> probably more than half. >> okay, and the u.s. policy question. spent on the u.s. policy question, i think, i mean, i agree with shadi overall characterization of the u.s. disinterest, especially in getting into the nuts and bolts and nitty-gritty of this very messy transition. and i think it probably, it's good to stay away from any public posture, particularly what comes to the constitution, which as everyone knows is an extreme a sensitive moment in the transition. it is the defining moment, and especially when it is being pitched as, you know, in very religious terms are very existential terms. it was wise to stay out of that. i don't know, i don't know that
11:35am
the u.s. could have played a different role of chile. certainly and the constitutional controversy, but even in other aspects of the transition. i do know that he had handed over aid conditioned kind of response would achieve the desired result. i think, when you're dealing with intense populism on all sides, deep distrust of america's intention, again on all sides of the egyptian political spectrum. i think less is more as far as the u.s. role. i think was a lose lose proposition to get overly involved or to be seen as leveraging the age which can easily be interpreted, in positive terms of black now, and often is. so i don't know that the u.s. could apply to different role than the one that it had. >> shadi?
11:36am
>> yeah. i have a different view. i think there's quite a bit more the u.s. could have done, but you can't start now but i think in some sense it's too late now. you can't wait until a leader does something authoritarian and then have it purely reactive posture because first of all he is already made the authoritarian move. the leverage has to be established early on. and i think the u.s. set a very dangerous precedent a leading stuff get away. they were literally murdered. and terribly mismanaging the transition from day one. i think the ngo crisis of last march was the real moment of truth when the obama administration could have drawn clear red lines and said, we are suspending u.s. aid into his sister is a just and i think that would've sent a message that the u.s. is interested in the content of the egypt's democracy. or even later. there was a one week period last june when -- dissolve the
11:37am
democratic elected parliament, stripped of the presidency of many of its powers all in a week. the best we could do was express concern. that was another time that the u.s. should have made very clear what its position was. and yes, there is a populist problem. egyptians have a pronounced dislike for the u.s. and u.s. policy. but what i would argue is that if that pronounced dislike is that even when we're playing the hands-off role, we might as well have egyptians dislike us and tried to do something good in supporting democracy in the country. and it could've been really helpful now. if morsi was aware where the u.s., you know, had its so-called red line, if he had a sense of that, before december 22 maybe he would've thought about it doing it differently. >> thank you. i'm going to use the chair's prerogative and just ask my own 2 cents on that question. i think we have heard two very
11:38am
thoughtful views, and aei can add a third, which is this. the united states has its primary interest in egypt's stabilization. because stability in egypt is essential for stability in the region, and for the stability of key relationships in the region that are deep interest to the united states. we saw the very clearly in the way the u.s. very assertively stepped up in the gaza crisis to work with egypt on stabilizing the egyptian-israeli border. if stabilization is a priority for the united states, then i think we have to recognize that stability is not going to come only from security, or only from economic stabilization. what's clear to me from the last two weeks is that stability required political cop months as the. i think we heard that over and over from my two colleagues.
11:39am
my argument would be that if the united states indeed prioritize stability, it has to be political strategy as well as an economic and security strategy. i would agree with shadi that right now largely it does not have one. in addition to which i guess i would point out that there are a couple of principles that the mistake other take away from the very beginning of the arab awakening through to today, and the question is how well is it doing at implementing those principles in its policy in these particular place around the arab world. one of those is we want to the democratic process and will accept the outcome, but we care that the process is a good process. and the other is about basic rights and rights for women and minorities. with respect to each its constitution drafting process, we've heard over and over again from american officials the importance of inclusion, of having a broad-based process that incorporates voices from
11:40am
across society to get a result that will achieve consensus. that's ideal, not every constitutional process process is going to be fully inclusive and achieve consensus. but i think having articulate those principles, it's incumbent upon the united states to render some commentary on whether those principles have been achieved or not in the outcome of the process. it is a process they need to care about the need to -- i find together to do that troubling, not on because i don't think it contributes to stability in egypt or to democracy in egypt, but i think it reduces america's ability to say similar things in other places around the region and around the world. so i think it weakens america's position over all on issues of democracy and human rights. so without editorial comment, why don't we take some questions in the back. i.c. one here.
11:41am
>> thank you. my question is did with the upcoming parliament election, the last time around -- i've met gave them the speakership, the leadership of key committees in parliament. a lot of people say they want to get the same percentage can because that way they will own parliament again. given the backlash against mor morsi, or with a degree in the constitution and everything, if the brotherhood does get that 47% next time, will the people say the election is rigged? will that lead to more instability? i was wondering if you'd comment on that. thank you spent it's an interesting moment, because you could argue if they get anything less than what they got before it's a loss. a strategic loss, for them, or it could be interpreted that way. shadi, do you have any thoughts
11:42am
on the? >> a lot of it depends on -- >> shadi, sorry, if you could pull the microphone for little closer to you. i think we'll be able to hear you better. thank you. >> sure. so, a lot of it will depend on the electoral system. the brotherhood do better in single-member districts. essentially the u.s., uk system. if it's one islamist facing one liberal, the islamist will almost always win. and then the last election, islamists wind, 82% of the individual sister and considerably less in the prc's. the opposition as a whole generally prefers straight pr and getting rid of the individual seats, but it's still too early to tell. that's one of the weird things is in the next two months they are going to have to have debate about the electoral system. i don't know if exact out that
11:43am
will work. part of it depends on the. i think the brotherhood will go down in vote share, but i wouldn't overstate the drop. again, the brotherhood does best on the district to district level. and they have asked parliamentarians who have personal connections with their constituency, and some of these constituencies are fairly small. so there's a kind of personal touch that's important to social service becomes more important. so on and so forth. so i think for that reason the brotherhood will drop but maybe not as much as people expect. >> so in a constitution with 230 odd articles, they didn't fully defined electoral system whether it's a single-member districts or a proportional representation system? >> now i don't think they did it. you know, i would expect also to see a drop in the brotherhood's representation in the future
11:44am
parliament, as was probably a boost to non-islamists. they are slightly better organize, or let's say, not as terribly organized as they were the first time around. they have learned some lessons, although not entirely. i would expect them to do a little better also. the question on, in terms of the rigging, i think the kind of rigging that we saw under mubarak ballot stuffing and were yet more ballots in the box a number of voters in that district. that sort of flagrant heavy-handed approach. those days are over. the brotherhood has and generally engage in that sort of a thing. when things get problematic and again, going back to this idea of game with no rules, you don't have two finance disclosure for example. you don't have a system where transparency is required as far as elections.
11:45am
there are a lot of different, things that we would consider violation or questionable, you, the brotherhood has a vast network. has vast loyalists on the street. there are, the whole idea of engaging in sectarian discourse. we saw in past them in a number of election. so there's a lot of actresses that could be deemed questionable that will work to the brotherhood's advantage. that are not making in the traditional sense, but i think we'll have more and more doubt on the legitimacy of the process. so there are different kinds of code and code breaking, or ways -- quote unquote rigging. but i do think though that it's important to underscore the extent to which i think this process is going to be seen as legitimate.
11:46am
i talked, or at least its legitimacy will be questioned for very long time to come. i talked to a judge who is a friend of mine who oversaw the elections over the weekend, and in his words the constitution was quoted quote stillborn. and he doesn't expect it to last more than two years. and so i don't know. i don't questions is kind of the whether it will or it won't last longer than that, but i think we have to have a much more nuanced sense of the kind of instability that is being built into this program. >> thanks. another question in the back. >> thank you very much. i'm with united states -- [inaudible]. for multiparty democracy, you have to have -- [inaudible].
11:47am
what are conditions that prevent in egypt -- [inaudible] >> okay. excellent question. the opposition in order to have an effective multiparty system you have an effective opposition, and if you both discuss the opposition has proven itself incredibly fragmented, and, indeed, shadi, in your policy peace you point out it's made up of groups with very, very different ideologies, or basic philosophy. so, what are the prospects to see some coherent unified opposition emerge? >> so, part of the problem is liberals in particular haven't
11:48am
provided an affirmative vision of what liberalism in the egyptian context means or should mean. so, what brings them all together, liberals, leftists, whatever else, is anti-islamism, that they don't like what the brotherhood is doing for different reasons. they are afraid of religious overreach, inflation on personal freedom. so they're kind portraying themselves as if you don't like the brotherhood, go with us. that can work to some extent but that's not a long-term strategy. and i think the challenge, especially for liberals, is going to be articulating liberalism. the problem there is liberals in many parts of egyptian society is the backboard. and to the extent that i remember last armenta election, some liberal parties intended i should avoid using the word liberal when they were campaigning. so that's a big challenge i think. and i feel like there's also a
11:49am
kind of elitism in some liberal ranks, the sense that, you know, there was a leading liberal figure, many of you probably read his book, who essentially went on a rant on twitter last week saying that illiterate people shouldn't be allowed to vote because they tend to vote for islamists, and islamists pray the ignorance of the uneducated. it hasn't been -- there is this kind of disdain for the common and, before that sometimes comes across in liberal elite discourse. and i think that they will have to find ways to focus in on the ground and reconnect with people who don't know what they stand for. but that's actually very difficult. you can't do that in two months. they have to of the longer-term strategy, over years, to be able to think about how to reposition
11:50am
themselves and present themselves again to the egyptian people. >> one of the most interesting figures during the controversy over the last two weeks has been a former member of the muslim brotherhood, who was kicked out of the party because he said we wanted to run for president. and has emerged as a sort of centrist islamist, or liberal islamist, political figure. so would either you like to talk about the role he plays? >> yet, but before just want to address the issue of the islamists versus liberal by nick. i think it's a mistake, one, to refer to opposition as liberals. there is a multiplicity of your and they don't come from a single ideological stand. some of them are not terribly liberal. in the same whether think a lot of islamists, some are liberal
11:51am
and some are not. i think this is the company self-fulfilling process -- prophecy. it didn't begin this way. the beginning of the transition to islamists on both sides of tahrir square. the salafis, many of them were more pro-regime, and, of course, we know the rule of the brotherhood played in the revolution. and so i think because of this ongoing debate on identity and the constitution and so forth, and the intense polarization is has become a de facto about being islamists versus anti-islamist. i do think, i agree with shadi the opposition has failed to articulate what it is for as opposed to what it is against. i think, they are brought together by more than just an antipathy towards brotherhood. i think they have a different vision of egypt. the brotherhood has it majority
11:52am
or invasion of egypt come and that is essentially you are a conservative muslim, probably mail, and that is a very sort of, that's a major constituency in egypt. on the other hand, the opposition has done a poor job of articulating what i see as what they stand for, which is broader inclusion, broader participation, different deonof egypt. and egypt it is based on diversity and inclusion rather than a strictly majority to you when. i think you see some attention in almost any political environment. he is one of these characters that has been able, at least up until recently, to straddle this divide of islamists versus non-islamist. part of the problem, if you go back to the presidential race,
11:53am
the first round of the presidential race were the two most polarizing candidates, the one representing the former regime, and the one representing the muslim brotherhood, muhammad morrisey, came out on top. they each had about 25% and then there was that middle group that was neither -- nor necessarily wanted to see a return of, nor were they pro-islamist here and they were about 50%, about half of the electorate at least. this is the group has been so divided and so unable to articulate a common vision. but, over time with the polarization that middle space has decreased, and someone like -- already back in june during the second round of the election was found, people expected him to be much better because he could straddle these two arenas.
11:54am
and i think people thought that had mass appeal. things were so polarized, and i think things are much more polarized than they were six months ago. so the space for this man, a political act i think is much more limited and i think that he, taking such a nuanced position, very principled nuance decision i think that has really made him largely irrelevant in the current controversy. >> you want to add anything on that? >> sure. i think abdullah had a lot of promise with his wife were present. it's an interesting counterfactual of what egypt would look like now if he had one. he was the only candidate whose it is the most liberals, let's get together with a common vision. and try to move away from this islamist long -- non-islamist cleavage. that's what was appealing to
11:55am
support. you could straddle all you want and i think it's admirable that people try to straddle, but i think at the end of the day that our real fundamental divides in egyptian politics, and i think they are in some sense unique from other transitions. if you look at the latin america transition they were largely based on economic polarization. that is difficult as lucy in venezuela. at least you can split the middle on economics. it is very difficult to split the middle on fundamental issues of identity. and the nature of the state. salafis and many islamists, most islamists believe the state should not be ideologically neutral, that the state should be a protector and promoter of a certain understanding of morality and religious practice. liberals, if they are liberal, presumably don't believe that. these are fundamental issues, and i don't think you can just say, well, you know, sweep them
11:56am
under the rug. at some point egypt is going to have to have a real conversation about a very thorny issues. and it might be resolved in direction that we as americans might not be comfortable with. >> let me see if i can get in maybe one or two more questions, and then i will come back to you each for answers to those, and any closing comments you want to make. so why don't we take these two right here in front. >> my question is about the leadership. we see lack of leadership of muslim brotherhood and liberals. and really, the liberal camp lost more. they have instability. they give mixed messages to their people. for what change must be at the beginning, and then back among the constituents.
11:57am
[inaudible] i have a problem with the constitution. the first mention, -- [inaudible] >> and the question? >> yes. my question is, the liberals need to change because -- [inaudible]. how do think, can they survive in the future? >> okay, thank you. just and the mic to the gentleman behind you. >> i'm a member of alliance for egyptians for americans. i think brotherhood is getting egypt -- [inaudible] do you really believe that brotherhood -- [inaudible] or if they have
11:58am
been flaunting their muscles? spent okay, so what is the brotherhood's real intention? >> exactly. >> great. i think those are two great questions to end on. one on leadership among the liberals, and one on the intentions spent on leadership i would agree, and i would say this miniseries leadership failure on all sides. in fact, one of the reasons we're in this crisis is because the political class as a whole has failed. and they failed not withstanding, i agree with shadi that there are deep divisions that they are the divisions in any policy from any society. that's come. i the very different understanding of politics in this country, or a vision or an idea of the united states than
11:59am
some politicians on the right or the left. so that's common. the idea, where the opposition, where the leadership across the board, including the brotherhood failed, is in there in the ability to in a meaningful consensus building projects. and i think that's the conversation that we were supposed to have around this constitution. that's what the constitution is for. but instead all sides essentially adopted the approach that either i'm going to win or and going to be defeated. if i'm going to be defeated am going to play the role of spoiler. that's why you see things like the walkouts. because there isn't a sense of consensus, and ability to make consensus. consensus i think there's a deep misunderstanding. it's not about, you, the idea of consensus as understand is the lowest common denominator of different groups and not simply the self image